Items Confiscated By Airport Screeners Could End up on Internet

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Waunakee, "I don't know why you would travel with a used shower rod?" Operations Manager Diane Sutton has seen a lot of strange stuff in her time at the federal surplus property program.

This is where the items confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration end up after you lose them at the airport.

"When we first started it was a little like Christmas, like, 'Ooh, what did people try to fly with this week?' Now, it's been two years and not much surprises us anymore," says Sutton.

Most of the usual stuff is what you'd expect. "We get a lot of knives, a lot of scissors, a lot of corkscrews," says Sutton.

Most of the people who come to the airport lose things because either they didn't realize they had them, or they didn't realize they were dangerous.

But this stuff isn't here to collect dust, it's for sale. In the past the only people who could buy were select non–profit groups. But other states have had success selling in bulk over the internet. "We are considering on line auction. We know other states are doing that but we haven't made our mind if we're going to go that route or not," says Sutton.

How much would you pay for a 10 pound box of pliers? How about 40 pounds of scissors? "We figure we probably got about 200 pounds of scissors sitting here. This box alone is a good 70 pounds," says Sutton.

If you do find a great buy on a gross of pocket knives, just remember to take them out of your carry–on before you get to the airport.

Sutton says they get confiscated stuff from airports in Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay.

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