The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 3, 2014

Firm to sell city’s old evidence items, equipment

HERMITAGE — Hermitage police are looking to lessen the load in the evidence room and a dedicated storage area at the city garage.

City commissioners recently approved the police signing a contract with PropertyRoom.com, a Frederick, Md., company that was created to auction off police-related items, although it has since expanded its business to serve other sectors.

“We need to rid our evidence room of some unclaimed property that we haven’t been able to determine who the owner is,” Chief Brian Blair said. “We’re getting overwhelmed.”

“We can also get rid of our old equipment, which interests me more,” he said. “This would include old mobile and portable radios and obsolete vehicle equipment to include light bars and cages.”

PropertyRoom.com workers would come to the police department and city garage, inventory items, haul away unwanted items and refurbish and sell some of them at an online auction, he said.

There is no cost to the city for PropertyRoom.com’s services, City Manager Gary P. Hinkson said.

The city will get some of the proceeds of any items sold – half of the sale price for items that sell for up to $1,000 and 75 percent of items that sell for greater – and that money would go into the city’s general fund.

“I don’t expect to recoup large sums of money for the city,” Blair said. “We mainly just want to clear some space here and at the city garage. I don’t think we’re talking about hundreds of items, either.”

The chief said he did not believe the department had any items of “high-end value.”

“I know there are old cordless drills and other tools, items that have been recovered as stolen property or abandoned,” Blair said. “There’s antiquated stereo equipment, etc., that have been recovered from thefts and burglaries. These items will most likely get discarded.”

In some cases, items were subject to insurance payouts and the insurance companies did not want the merchandise back, Blair said.

Items such as jewelry and cash must be turned over to the state Bureau of Unclaimed Property, Hinkson said

Certain evidence would be off-limits, Blair said, noting that anything to do with a murder investigation is kept forever.

Firearms would not be sold.

“Firearms would get melted down via our own initiation,” he said. “The ones we have are pretty much junk and have been used in crimes, suicides, etc.”

Items of evidence used in court cases probably will need a court order for disposal and it will be up to police to determine what items would be subject to this requirement, Hinkson said.

Hinkson said he favored having PropertyRoom.com handle the documentation because police won’t have to spend time doing it. The items put up for sale will have wider exposure than if the city tried to sell them, and PropertyRoom.com’s process is “completely transparent, he said.

“I think getting a third party involved to document this stuff is in our best interest,” Hinkson said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City zoners give nod to Speedway signs

    Speedway cleared a hurdle Thursday when city zoners granted a variance for signs at the company’s gas station and convenience store proposed for downtown Sharon.

    August 1, 2014

  • Retirement is definite, hiring replacement isn’t

    Farrell Fire Chief Joseph Santell will be retiring at the end of this year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Natural gas rates drop 5.6 pct.

    National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. on Thursday announced it lowered residential natural gas rates by 5.6 percent, effective today through October.

    August 1, 2014

  • Audit calls for better record-keeping policies

    The annual auditor’s report for the City of Farrell was presented by City Manager Michael Ceci to council members Monday.

    August 1, 2014

  • trout island trail paving Hot on the trail

    Work began last week to pave a section of the Trout Island Trail, replacing a crushed limestone surface.

    August 1, 2014 3 Photos

  • CIRT team in Jackson Center Man arrested after shooting standoff

    One Jackson Center man is recovering from a bullet wound, and the borough resident accused of shooting him sits in jail after a long night of drinking that state police say turned into a case of attempted homicide.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Speedway location City on track for new Speedway store

    Speedway is lining up its administrative and bureaucratic cones on plans for the gas station and convenience store chain to zoom into downtown Sharon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Guards, county OK deal

    County officials and guards at the Mercer County Jail have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, halts the idea of privatizing operations at the facility.

    July 31, 2014

  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014