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Auction brings $42,000 to police


© St. Petersburg Times, published June 28, 2000

Morning rain showers kept attendance low and bargains easy to come by at an auction of felons' possessions held by the St. Petersburg Police Department on Saturday.

All 80 pieces of forfeited merchandise on the auction block, including cars, golf clubs, a staple gun and stereo equipment, were sold, bringing $40,335 to the department, said Detective Jeff Jensen.

At a bicycle auction earlier that day, police collected about $2,000.

"The rain really helped a lot of people out," Jensen said. "A lot of stuff went for half the book price."

About 300 people attended the auction, which in the past has brought as many as 800. The result: A 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier, decked out with more than $10,000 in stereo equipment, sold for $6,000, just $1,000 over its minimum bid. It was the highest sale of the 80 items up for grabs, which included 18 automobiles.

A beat-up 1988 Daihatsu Charade was the cheapest car sold Saturday, at $500. A set of jumper cables was the cheapest buy at $30.

Proceeds from the sale will go toward police equipment and training, with 15 percent set aside for donation to non-profit organizations that apply for a forfeiture grant later this year.

A date for the Police Department's next auction has not been set, but it should be sometime in December, Jensen said.

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