Riverhead Police may move to online property auctions

08/11/2011 2:47 PM |

About once a year, the Riverhead Police Department auctions off junk cars or items collected in its property department that it no longer needs.

The auctions typically bring in about $10,000 to $12,000, according to Riverhead Councilman Jim Wooten, a retired town cop who used to be the police department property officer.

The town is now considering a new program that would allow police surplus to be auctioned off every day online.

A company called propertyroom.com has offered to pick up surplus property from the town once a month in order to auction it on its website, which has as many as 900,000 visitors per month, said Jim Heaney of propertyroom.com, who made a presentation to the Town Board Thursday.

“We have about 2,600 accounts and we’ve been in business for 11 years,” said Mr. Heaney, a former New York City police officer.

“About 95 percent of the items we put up are sold within five days,” he said. And the company can take and post any surplus items the town wants to sell, not just police items, he said.

“We have been looking for a way to sell our assets we are no longer using,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said.

The company is proposing a 50-50 split of the proceeds of any sale the town submits to propertyroom.com, with the company sending the town a check once a month.

“This sounds like a great idea in concept,” Supervisor Sean Walter said.

Mr. Heaney said even vehicles that don’t run anymore can be sold because their parts are still valuable.

“A car is worth five times more in parts than it is as a whole,” Mr. Heaney said.

Police Chief David Hegermiller said the department currently has about 15 cars it’s looking to sell.

“I think this is a win-win-win all around,” the chief said of the online auctions.

Board members informally voiced support for the proposal and are expected to formally sign an agreement soon with propertyroom.com.

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