A set of toothbrushes, a Star Wars Darth Vader electronic helmet and Jets jerseys are some of the items up for grabs in the Winnipeg police auction.
The auction for unclaimed goods was launched on Friday, but this year bidders can only participate with the click of a mouse.
Provincial guidelines don’t allow hundreds of people to gather at an auction, so Ken Phillips, with the police evidence control unit, said Associated Auto Auction will help conduct this year’s auction online. The company has run auctions on its website throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, odd items appear on the auction list, and this year the WPS is auctioning off three toothbrushes.
"They’re actually sealed in a box, because we aren’t going to be like, ‘hey, here’s someone’s used toothbrush,’" Phillips said with a laugh. "New stuff like that, we will put in there to see if there’s any interest."
Dirt bikes and watches are also on the list.
Phillips said the items being auctioned are stolen or lost goods that haven’t been claimed by their owners, and possessions seized by the courts.
"The goal is to always get property back to the original owner," said Phillips. "But, unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen and we have to keep things moving and keep it from going to a landfill."
Phillips said they usually auction off two items at a time during the in-person auction, but this year it should be easier for people to quickly find what they want.
"We are going to see how this one goes and see how people find it," said Phillips. "A lot of stuff has been done online for years so we’re hoping it goes well."
If the auction is a success, Phillips said he hopes police can hold more auctions online. He also emphasized that winning bids are a final purchase, and questions about the items can be answered by Associated Auto Auction.
"Nothing is tested or guaranteed," he said. "It’s very much buyer beware. It’s gone good in the past and people were aware."
Money raised from the auction, which runs until June 22, will go to the police service.
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