Your Money: Deals thanks to crooks and criminals

CHAPEL HILL There's a Website called that works with more than a thousand police departments and municipalities and gives you a way to save big on just about everything you can imagine.

ne example is an authentic Rolex watch, with 300 diamonds appraised at $20,000.

You'll also find diamond bracelets and sparkling diamond rings, even a rare Swiss 1947 gold coin, and they all start at just a $1.00 bid at Property Room was founded almost ten years ago by former police officer Tom Lane.

He says, "Anything you think can be stolen out of your house or stolen out of your car or shoplifted out of a department store, we're going to wind up with those items." The Web site specializes in the auction of stolen, seized, found and surplus goods that they get from 1600 police departments and municipalities from around the country. Instead of those organizations holding individual auctions, takes care of it all. Lane adds, "We come pick the stuff up, take it away and make it easy for the police department."

It's easy for the consumer to snag a bargain online. You just browse the thousands of items that range from jewelry, to big screens, fine art, household appliances, even cars and motorcycles.

Most of the auctions start with just a $1 bid, last a few days, and the highest bidder wins the item. Plus guarantees the product.

Lane says, "We tell you it's gonna work. We've plugged it in, tested it, and it works ok. We go so far on the bikes as to describe where the rust is, if the brakes work, if the tires were inflated but they didn't hold the air."

The Chapel Hill Police Department sends the majority of their stolen or confiscated items that they can't return to the rightful owners off to

Flora Parrish with the department says, "It's a win-win situation and we get a percentage of what they sell it for and the turnover is really quick and the good thing is we get it out of our building as we don't have the room for it." Parrish says it's been a big success for Chapel Hill and she's even snagged a few bargains from for herself.

For more information on Property Room just click on

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