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Tomorrow Is Your Chance to Buy Weird Stuff Seized by the Government

A warehouse in Pompano Beach is full of fancy stuff seized by the government: watches, wines, iPods, and diamond bracelets taken from criminals of every sort by U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the IRS, and the Secret Service. And starting Friday, they want to sell it to you.

An auction is being hosted online by Chicago-based law firm Rick Levin & Associates that will last until noon next Tuesday; check out their website for the fine print and actual bidding program. And if you're not the type to thirst for Rolexes and motorcycles, don't worry -- there's something for everybody. Here's a quick sample:

--21,080 two-foot zippers
If you have a bunch of shirts that you just can't keep closed, Lot 19 is for you -- 39 boxes of zippers in assorted colors and sizes for all your making-two-things-into-one-thing needs.

--13,000 used plastic hangers
I don't know how used a plastic hanger has to be before you can tell that it's used, but Lot 21 is 130 boxes of them.

--94 pairs of Reebok mesh shorts
Lot 35. Drug dealers are weird.

--240 laser-powered gun sights
Crosman and Center Point laser sights. Boxes of 'em. It doesn't specify whether they're used or not, but batteries are included. Lot 45.

--19 miles of cloth
Lot 117 features 281 rolls of cotton in assorted colors and 144 rolls of knitted polyester -- and each roll is between 70 and 110 yards long. I don't even know what somebody does with that much cloth or how the government gets hold of it. Was a Craft Barn caught embezzling?

--51 cell phones
That's all Lot 172 says. Just a big pile of phones.

--One blender
This isn't necessarily weird, but Lot 223 makes me imagine a criminal getting out of the clink and coming home to discover the extent to which the government cleaned him out. "They sold small appliances on the internet, man. They took the blender."

If you've got any questions, the Treasury Department has information on its website, and the VSE Corp.'s public auction line is 888-534-2828.

And here's the full auction catalog:

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Rich Abdill

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