- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 16, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The D.C. government announced yesterday that items found in abandoned safe-deposit boxes would be offered for auction through the online auction site EBay.

“Our vault contains a vast list of precious items left unclaimed,” said D.C. Treasurer N. Anthony Calhoun. The items being offered include jewelry and collectibles turned over by banks and other financial institutions. They were taken from safe-deposit boxes that had not been touched for three years or longer.

Under D.C. law, if the owners cannot be located, the items can be sold by the city. The owners or their heirs are entitled to the proceeds from the sales if they are located or file a claim later.

The weeklong online auction will begin Tuesday. It marks the second time the city has turned to EBay to dispose of a small portion of items available. Items expected to be listed include gold Cartier cuff links, coins, silver flatware and jewelry.

In late September, 25 items were auctioned, including two South African gold Krugerrand coins, gold jewelry and a U.S. gold coin minted in 1857.

“We got up to 80 percent above their appraised value,” said Elliott D. Kindred, director of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s Unclaimed Property Unit. Bids were received from throughout the United States, prompting officials to list more than 40 items in the latest offering.

The cataloged items will appear on the EBay site beginning Tuesday. A link labeled “Unclaimed Property” also will be posted on the Office of the Chief Financial Officer Web site www.dc.gov.

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