PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL)- Phenix City Police Department has received approval from the City of Phenix City to auction off old evidence.
PCPD sent a proposal to City Council asking for permission to auction off surpluses of evidence. In the proposal, the police department listed off several properties along with actual evidence from crime scenes. The property and evidence have been in the possession of the police department for several years and as the police department goes through their inventory they identify property that has been turned into the police department and they identify it as found property. Lieutenant Greg Lahr said the items they receive can vary from a bike to a handgun.
“That can be anything from a bicycle that somebody might find on their property and not know what to do with it so they call the police and we go out and get it. We take it into our possession, we keep it, if people report a crime and that property kind of matches what they had stolen we try to identify that property with the owner,” Lahr said.
Lahr told News 3 most of the time they are unable to find the owners of the missing property.
“Unfortunately in a lot of cases we can never put a piece of property with an owner, so after so many years we do our inventory the police department will advertise the property based on the description we have on it. They’ll put it out in the newspaper if anybody has anything they feel matches the description they can contact us. Once we go through that cycle, we’ll prepare a list and basically, we identify all the properties that we currently have that we have established,” Lahr said.
Before auctioning off the property, the police department will determine if the criminal property has run its course and is no longer needed and they will make the decision to auction it off.
“Stuff that can be auctioned off to the public we set aside to have a public auction and then evidence or property that probably doesn’t fall into the category that we want to put back out into the public. For example, drugs, or maybe some clothing items that were involved in a crime that really have no value then we’ll dispose of that in accordance with state law,” Lahr said.
Not all of the property that is being auctioned off comes from actual crime scenes but the majority of the property are items that have been turned in to the police department.