The leftovers from crime-fighting in the state capital are for sale - a hodgepodge of the seized, the stolen, the run-down and the lost and found.
This includes a 1994 Crown Victoria with a citrus air-freshener on the rearview mirror, an abandoned baby stroller with a diaper bag still attached, and a beer cooler, without the beer.
It is auction time at the Annapolis City Police Department.
Registration and the preview of the hundreds of items for sale begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Serious bidding begins at 10 a.m. with Robert H. Campbell II presiding - a natural-born auctioneer who sounds as if he has an amplifier built into his vocal cords and can say "Do I hear $200? Do I hear 3?" in one syllable.
"We won't use the rapid-fire chant like at a tobacco or live stock auction, because the average person can't sort through the chant and pick up the bid," Campbell said. "But we do move it rapidly."
Other police departments, including Howard County's, have annual and semiannual auctions. Anne Arundel County Police Department sends its seized property to an auction company, which mixes it into other sales and sends the county the proceeds.
In Annapolis, the auction usually generates several thousand dollars for the city's general fund, said Capt. Gary S. Simpson.
The auction requires legal notices and paperwork, a careful inventory and major organization.
The goal tomorrow will be to sell one high-priced item or one group of smaller items per minute, said Campbell, who was raised in the Annapolis-based auction business begun by his father, Robert H. Campbell, in 1947 and is continued by his son, Robert H. Campbell III, who went to auctioneer school.
Some items - such as CDs and cassette tapes that are guaranteed to include a few offbeat selections - will go in seconds, Campbell said. "For a box of stuff, I might say, `Who will give me $6? Any advance?'"
If there is no higher bid, Campbell will pronounce it, "Sold to number 9" or whichever number is assigned to the person who might get a coffeepot, a hammer and some warbly Broadway hits for $6.
Bidders also can walk away tomorrow with jewelry, VCRs and stereo equipment.
"They can shout. They can wave. They can hold up their number - anything to get my attention," Campbell said.
Police say the most popular items might be the 75 parking meters for sale - trophies in a city where parking is the No. 1 complaint.
Campbell will set the prices for starting bids on the large items, such as the 1988 Toyota Supra with blue interior and a tape player, the Targa LX black moped and dozens of bikes, ranging from expensive mountain bikes to a few banged-up 10-speeds with deflated tires.
Nothing can be test-driven, said Cpl. Brian Della. But he said the police fleet maintenance manager will be honest about the repairs needed on the cars, including the well-used patrol cars that have been stripped of their sirens and equipment and censored with black paint circles to cover their obvious identifications - the words, "Police," and the unmistakable logos of law enforcement.
The old police cars usually end up as cabs in South America, Della said, because companies often buy them to refurbish and export.
And there might be a few gems among the lot, including a sleek black Mercedes 300 SD. At a glance, a sky blue 1988 Dodge Diplomat appears to be in mint condition. And a gray 1991 Thunderbird with maroon interior shines in the parking lot.
Most of the cars were undercover detectives' or supervisors' cars and vehicles seized in drug arrests. But much of what is for sale is stolen property that could not be returned.
The rightful owners are hard to track because often the items are not registered in the state and national computer systems, Della said. If it's not in the computer and the property is stolen outside the city, there's no way to track the property to theft reports without checking with every other jurisdiction in the state.
The police are happy to etch identification on residents' electronics and jewelry, Della said. But the service is often unused. "The marks can be scraped off, but if it's put in an inconspicuous place, they won't be," he said.
Every bike has a serial number already. But, Della said, "You need to write the number down and then remember where you put it."
That common oversight is why the police have so many bikes, a few even stacked in the hallway outside the storage area, which is filled to maximum capacity.
Inside, a brown electric typewriter and a red Rydal vacuum cleaner circa 1950 are waiting for tomorrow's sale. There also are plenty of newer items - a Tiki multicolored skateboard, a blue nautical umbrella, a thermos.
Before the auction is over, Campbell promises, "We'll sell it all."
Annapolis City Police Auction takes place tomorrow at Annapolis city police headquarters, 199 Taylor Ave., Annapolis. Preview begins at 9 a.m. Rain date is Sunday. More information: 410-268-9000.