The Police Lost Property Auction at Melen



Auctioneer and Sheriff Erling Lundstadsveen in action at the lost property auction at Melen in Overhalla. (Photo: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews)

Are you in need of a new chainsaw, jumper cables, sunglasses, boots, bike – or how about power supply to the motorhome? If so, you should attend a police lost property auction. Annually thousands of objects are auctioned and you can make a real bargain.

– Do I hear ten kroner (1.5 dollars)?, auctioneer and Sheriff in Overhalla, Erling Lundstadsveen cries out.

He has assembled a pair of jumper cables, a dress and a 3 pack of women’s lingerie into an “attractive package”. The Sheriff points out that there is no warranty and that everything is sold as is.

Hundreds of objects are going to get a new owner this warm autumn day: Clothing, gloves and sunglasses are sold to the highest bidder.

– Ten! A gentle female voice breaks the silence. After all, Norwegians are known to be modest.

– Sold! The Sheriff slams the hammer on the table so quickly that no one has time to enter a new bid.

People laugh out loud. Here you have to act fast!

Revenue to the Treasury

The police annual lost property auction in the Namdalen district in Central Norway is held under the traditional “Melamartnan” market at the old trading post at Melen in Overhalla municipality. The police uniforms are from the 1800s and borrowed from the Sverresborg Folk Museum in Trondheim.

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Finally – “only” boat gas tanks and bikes are remaining at the auction. (Photo: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews)

From this district only, the police receives thousands of ownerless objects every year. If no owner has claimed the object within three months, the items are auctioned – if they are in ok condition. The rest are discarded.

– The revenue from the auction goes straight to the Treasury, says Lundstadsveen to ThorNews, and does not cover the annual police Christmas party – as one of those present said with a smile.

Welfare Problem

In recent years, the amount of lost property has increased significantly. When ThorNews asks Lundstadsveen if this may be due to the high Norwegian living standards – and that this is a welfare problem – he nods in agreement.

– Yes, one may wonder how people can lose so much…

The insurance companies pay large amounts of compensation for lost items like cell phones, bicycles, cameras and luggage. These costs are distributed equally among all policyholders who ultimately have to pay the bill.




Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews


Categories: Culture, History

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