State will unload unclaimed property

Bargain hunters might want to consider dropping by the state's unclaimed property store in Salem this week.

Unclaimed stolen property collecting dust in police evidence rooms from across the state will be going on sale Saturday, June 5, in Salem.

The Department of Administrative Services said personal property from several high-profile theft cases in recent months prompted the decision to host a special sale under its surplus property program.

"There's everything you can think of on sale," said Lonn Hoklin, a DAS spokesman, noting the inventory runs from power tools and office furniture to works of art.

Some of the treasures set to go on sale will be coming from Medford, said Rhonda Buma, property and evidence supervisor for the Medford Police Department.

Buma said local unclaimed stolen property is shipped to Salem once or twice a year when it begins to pile up in the evidence room.

"We hold property for 30 days and make every effort to track down the owner," Buma said, "but sometimes you can't, and we need to dispose of it before it takes up too much space."

The surplus property program collects the property and sells high-ticket items on eBay. Everything else goes to the retail store in Salem.

Buma said Medford has shipped electronics such as televisions and computers.

to Salem for sale.

"Some of it is really nice stuff," Buma said. "It's a shame we could not find the proper owner."

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said his deputies have uncovered storage sheds full of stolen property that cannot be matched to an owner.

"We've found construction equipment that we couldn't match to a business," Winters said. "It all goes up for sale after a month. We simply do not have the space to store it should the owner happen to contact us about lost property."

The sheriff's department does not deal with the state property program, opting instead to work with an online vendor that comes to collect the items.

The money generated from the sales goes into the city and county general funds, Buma said.

Medford chooses not to ship stolen and lost bicycles to Salem. Those are donated to local charities. Guns, on the other hand, are destroyed, Buma said.

The June 5 sale eclipses similar blitzes hosted by the property program, officials said.

"This sale is by far the largest event we have held in the history of our department," said Nole Bullock, acting operations manager. "With literally hundreds of items for sale from several high-profile theft cases, we have something for everybody."

Theft victims can help police locate the owners of stolen property by keeping receipts for electronic equipment and writing down serial numbers.

"We also recommend you take pictures of your high-end belongings," Winters said. "This can help us return what's rightfully yours."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-44714; or e-mail

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