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Task Force Fund-raiser

Seized property and county vehicles go on the auction block.



The auctioneer sounded off words in a melodic way: "$16,000, now 17, now 17, will you give me 18?" And with that, owning a big rig or a police car with shattered windows — broken glass included — became possible.

Last week, Roebuck Auctions sold used Shelby County vehicles and items seized by the West Tennessee Drug Task Force.

"It's a fairly good turnout," said David McGriff, director of the West Tennessee Drug Task Force.

Around 9 a.m., cars began to line the roads near Jail East for registration. As the auction began, mothers with young children and older men in overalls followed the auctioneer from item to item. Other bidders sat on the lawn near the things they wanted: buses, tractor trailers, police cars, and motorhomes.

"There's more than cars," McGriff said. "Ninety-nine percent of what we'll sell has been property seized and awarded by the court."

Most of the vehicles seized by drug task force agents were used to transport illegal drugs. Revenue from the seized property will benefit the West Tennessee Drug Task Force, whereas money from the sale of county vehicles will go to the county's general fund.

Truck driver Darrell Thurman took advantage of some big-ticket items.

"So far today I've only won this trailer," he said. "I got it for $3,250. It normally costs $5,000."

With the win of the trailer under his belt, Thurman's eyes moved toward the motorcycles.

"I'd like one of those Harleys," he said. "But I'll probably finish [the day] with a little generator."

With the day winding down, Lorry Anderton of Collierville and her husband made their way to the auction looking for a good deal on a motor home.

"We go to about every one of [the auctions]," she said. "We purchased one of our cars from an auction."

They still were pleased with the purchase, but Anderton said there were obvious signs of the vehicle's previous life.

"You can see where they removed the panels looking for something," she said. "I'm not sure what they found."

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