- Leicestershire Police run an eBay store selling items once owned by criminals.
- They were seized under UK legal powers and can be sold to fund public services.
- Items possessed and sold include BMWs, Rolexes, and a light aircraft.
- The store recently passed £1.4 million ($1.9 million) in revenue.
A British police force runs an eBay store where they sell on clothes, cars, watches, and other items which they repossessed from convicted criminals.
Staff at Leicestershire Police run the Leicester Police POCA Property store on the online marketplace, where they auction off items seized during investigations.
Items sold by the page range from used electronics to Rolex watches and Audi cars, which have sold for sums exceeding £20,000 ($27,000).
Here are a few recent ones:
They use eBay to raise funds for public services under powers granted by the Process of Crime Act (POCA), which gives public authorities the right to reclaim the value of assets which are bought with illicit funds.
The store has been running since 2009, during which time it has earned more than £1.4 million for the public purse, which was spent on compensating victims, employing financial investigators, and funding community projects.
A review of their seller feedback by Business Insider found dozens of cars, more than 10 Rolex watches, hundreds of items of clothing, phones, tablets, laptops, a rare Superman comic, a large collection of toy soldiers, and even bundles of thread.
Notable sales include:
- A BMW 120D Sport for £1,750.
- A Zenair Zodiac two-seater light aircraft for £17,201.
- An 18-carat gold Rolex Sky Dweller watch for £21,600.
- A pair of Gucci trainers for £112.
- A Mitsubishi L200 Warrior LWB pick-up truck for £2,395.
- A Breitling Avenger Seawolf watch for £1,995.
- A BMW X5 SUV for £17,050.
- An Audi A% Quattro for £29,500.
- A teddy bear for £2.20.
- A bundle of red t-shirts for £1.44.
- 190 sachets of shampoo for £4.89.
None of the items were stolen property. Instead, they were bought with money earned one way or another through criminal activity, which UK law allows to be reclaimed to fund public services.
The eBay community overwhelmingly sees Leicestershire Police as a good seller, and has given it more than 3,000 positive reviews, earning the force a red star ranking.
The force engages in occasional back-and-forth with customers who are disappointed:
Items can be sent to buyers by post, or collected directly from the police station in Wigston, a town just south of Leicester.
At the time of writing, the store had 13 items for sale: Eight pairs of jeans, three hoodies, a polo shirt, and an old iPhone.
A statement to Business Insider from the police force’s economic crime unit said: “We are continually working to take the cash out of crime and to target people who are benefitting financially from criminal activity.
“Anyone who suspects someone may be benefitting financially from crime is asked to contact us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”