Auction scheduled for items confiscated by TSA at airports

Posted at 6:12 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 19:44:07-04

Ever wonder what happens to all the items people have to surrender to TSA agents at the airport checkpoints?  Or what about the items passengers leave behind on airplanes, in those seat pockets and overhead bins?

It's all for sale Friday, at the Arizona Department of Administration warehouse located at 1537 W. Jackson Street in Phoenix.

The department is holding their first direct sale of TSA surrendered and lost and found items, with an online and live auction of items donated by state agencies all throughout the state, over the weekend.

Elizabeth Bartholomew, the legislative liaison and communications manager for the Arizona Department of Administration, said they hoped to make these direct sales a monthly event, the first Friday of every month.

The department allowed ABC15 to get a sneak peek into the warehouse, which was filled with items.

"Any item that's been on a passenger that is not allowed through security, if that passenger for some reason does not want to mail it back to themselves, TSA will turn it over to us," said Bartholomew.

The agency has had this partnership with TSA for the last 15 years.  Bartholomew said a passenger who lost an item could file a claim through TSA's website, but anything that was not claimed after a certain amount of time, is put up for sale.

In the warehouse there were glass cases full of watches.

"We've got Michael Kors, Citizen, Casino, Nixons," said Bartholomew.

They also had tables lined with sunglasses, from Ray-Bans to Tom Ford, they were items people left behind.  There were also shelves filled sporting goods, including a lot of bats featuring spring training teams.

"All of those kiddos that came and got a bat and were trying to go back home or travel, they were taken away at TSA," said Bartholomew.  Bats were not allowed on planes, as they could be used as a weapon.  Neither were golf clubs, trekking poles, and lacrosse sticks.  There were plenty of those items up for sale.

Some of the surprising items included weight plates, dumbbells, bowling balls, and bowling pins.

"It surprises me what some people try to take on an airplane," said Bartholomew.

They also had a barrel full of hundreds of wine bottle corkscrews, and drawer upon drawer full of utility tools, from Leatherman to Gerber.  There are also bins full of home repair tools, everything from wrenches, to screwdrivers, hammers, and pliers.  Prices for those items ranged from $1 to $3 according to the Arizona Department of Administration.

Sunglasses started at $2, and watches anywhere from $10-50 depending on the brand and condition.

The sale lasts from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The department will hold a live and online auction for larger items donated by state agencies on Saturday.  This includes cars, trucks, SUV's, and pallets full of computers, laptops, hard drives, and office furniture.

To place a bid or get more information click HERE.

Live auctions take place three times a year.  The department will accept cash and cards only.