Goods seized by law enforcement from criminals up for sale

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Apr 06 2013 03:23:00 PM HST

The Blaisdell was the scene of a hot clearance sale this afternoon. On the auction block, goods seized by law enforcement from criminals.

HONOLULU -

The Blaisdell Center was the scene of a hot clearance sale on Saturday. On the auction block was goods seized by law enforcement from criminals.

A Cadillac sold for $400, but there's more under the hood of the cars than the buyer will ever know. The vehicles, electronics, and jewelry up for sale all have ties to crime.

"For example, if a car is used to sell drugs, and the owners are arrested, and the vehicle is seized, it can be forfeited and sold at auction. So he no longer has the vehicle to commit these crimes," said Kern Nishioka, asset forfeiture program manager.

The open auction, with prices set by the crowd, is the state and county law enforcement agencies effort to battle the criminals by taking away what they need to commit illegal activities. Hundreds showed up to bid at the Blaisdell Center.  First-time buyers were skeptical about buying items linked to criminals.

"They might recognize it so that's a concern, they might want it back you know," said customer Keith Sunderlin.

Law enforcement's advise is to change the locks. For those like AJ Jones, it's his 15th auction, so the history of the items don't phase him.

"I feel like whoever was in the car and owned it previously, whatever was done, was cleaned out by HPD's forensic department," said Jones.

He's at the auction like many others to flip vehicles for a profit. He said the auction is where you get the best deals.

Law enforcement said the public auctions can generate as much as $100,000. The proceeds from the auction will be used by state and county law enforcement agencies to fight crime.

Another auction is set for September.

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