Police confiscate "stuff"... then what?

Police confiscate "stuff"... then what? »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- KEPR is getting an up-close look at the evidence pulled off our streets every day. What happens to it, and can you find a great deal on seized property? KEPR takes you inside the property vault in the Pasco Police Department.

Guns, drugs and more. It's all stuff either seized from a crime scene or taken away by Pasco police.

"Probably the biggest one is bicycles," said Pasco Police Department Capt. Jim Raymond. "We end up with a lot of bicycles that come in that've either been stolen or abandoned."

Tens of thousands of items picked up from around Pasco alone, some valuable, some not so much.

"In reality, a lot of the guns are junk," Raymond said.

Junk gets chopped up and thrown out. Guns with a value are sent to a federal agency to be resold.

So what really happens to the rest of this stuff? The answer is, it depends. Even the guns of low value end up back in a property room in the Pasco Police Department.

"The guns build for a certain amount of time, so in other words, if we get a fairly large lot of them, they are actually sent through the council, the council authorizes them basically as excess property, and then they are sent out for auction," said Raymond.

Demolishing something is the last resort.

"Generally, the primary goal is to get it back to the owners," Raymond said.

He says it's pretty easy to return cell phones and tablets. Jewelry and other household items are a bit more difficult. And when something has enough value, it goes on an auction website. It functions almost like eBay.

When an item ends up in the lost and found, the owner has 60 days to claim it. Then it's either demolished, donated, or auctioned off, with the money going back to the city – which keeps all departments operating for the cycle to begin again.

Pasco Police says bikes are one of their most popular recovered items. If never claimed, they are donated to local organizations.

If you want to bid on items seized from crimes in Pasco and other cities around the nation, click here. In a quick search, we saw a number of digital cameras going for less than $50.