NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Cars, laptops, jewelry, headphones (lots of headphones) and much more abandoned items found at Virginia’s Norfolk International Airport are being auctioned off this week.
An online auction held earlier this week offered nearly 200 different lots.
Items included lost and found from the TSA that were bunched together in different themes, including nine Alex and Ani charm bracelets, various charms and trinkets with a $50 Hobby Lobby card, a Mickey Mouse boogie board, a flag/poster commemorating the Kansas City, Missouri, unit of the Buffalo Soldiers and even a Huffy bicycle.
There were also random airport surplus items, like computer monitors, printers, and numerous cushioned ottomans. The cars for auction were all driven to the airport and abandoned, and have Carfax reports, auctioneers say.
Among the top-selling items were a set of eight cushioned ottomans and a 2002 Toyota Corolla, both of which sold for $1,500. A Yamaha electric guitar and a Stagg electric bass guitar each sold for $85, while the Mickey Mouse boogie board went for $5.
Airport auctions aren’t uncommon, Mark J. Howell, a regional spokesperson for TSA, tells Nexstar. But, it can also vary by airport and airline. Some items may be donated or thrown away.
The same can go for items you surrender at a TSA checkpoint.
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Items surrendered at a checkpoint — for example, a pocketknife — is logged and stored by TSA. Then, depending on the state, a surplus agency or a no-cost organization will collect the items. That agency or organization will send the items to auction with funds benefiting whichever state agency the state has selected.
Still, Howell says a TSA agent will give you the chance to get rid of your item rather than having you surrender it. This could mean putting it back in your car, claiming it with your airline, or giving it back to whomever brought you to the airport. Depending on the airport, you may also have the option to mail the item to yourself, instead.
The exception concerns illegal items, like ammunition, firearms, or marijuana.
“Anything that’s illegal, then we’re gonna do a law enforcement call,” Howell explains.