CHOCTAW — What do candy cane lights, a black powder pistol and a Rolex watch have in common?
They are among an extensive collection of unclaimed property at the Choctaw Police Department — a menagerie destined soon for auction or destruction, said Police Chief Conny Clay.
Spring cleaning uncovered the collection of guns, cash, paperwork and other odds and ends in several storage closets and shelving areas at police headquarters, a converted hardware store on NE 23.
Clay said his staff worked about two months inventorying the property, and then waited several months for a judge to approve their disposition. The stuff worth salvaging — like tools and bicycles — will be auctioned or given away; most of the weaponry will be sawed in half and buried.
“Once I get all this stuff taken care of it will reduce my property significantly and then we'll have a centralized place with a security camera,” Clay said.
The list of property to be disposed of is 218 items long. It includes 52 guns, 6 knives, four swords, a crossbow, a compound bow and a machete (with sheath). It includes five watches, 17 bikes, six sets of skis (two with poles), a toy robot, an OSU autographed football, an all-terrain vehicle and a World's Fair coin (no monetary value provided.)
The list also includes $6,147 in cash, several wallets and a money clip.
There is no case number attached to about a third of the items on the list. Many of these lost evidence tags when the old police department on Main Street — vacated by the department in 2002 — was hit by a tornado, Clay said.
Most of the remainder was seized during drug busts or domestic disputes, he said. Before forfeiture, the list of property was posted at three locations around town, Clay said.
“It's property dating back several years and it's cases that's either been disposed of or people hadn't returned for their property,” he said. “We can't keep stuff forever, so if no one has claimed it, the city can file for destruction or forfeit.”
Most the weapons are stored in a locked storage room, but the rest of the property sits on shelves in the department's garage/maintenance area. In one corner, new wood paneling indicates the new property room Clay and his officers are currently building.
Once the old stuff is gone, he said, all the department's property will be stored in one easy-to-navigate facility.
The room is currently an empty boxed-in area in the corner of the garage. It will soon include an updated system for inventorying and disposing of property, Clay said.
“Actually I'm pretty close,” he said. “All I need to do now is paint it, get the cameras installed and put the shelving in.”