South Florida hotel hosts auction of unclaimed valuables

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Forgotten valuables are up for auction at a South Florida hotel.

Sheraton Suites of Cypress Creek in Fort Lauderdale is hosting an auction of forgotten goods.

The highest bidder can take home cash, jewels and collectables that were left behind in safe deposit boxes.

“It’s been at least five years where there has been no contact with the owner of the items. After three years, the bank will turn it over to the state as unclaimed,” said Ashley Carr, from the Florida Department of Financial Services.

Sports memorabilia, coins, rare stamps and more are on the bidding block.

“It’s not like Storage Wars, Storage Wars is more drama,” said participant Armando Sancerin. “Here is not more drama, but you’ll see bids that go really high, and usually those are people that think there’s something there, and there really isn’t.”

Antique hunters and collectors showed up the day before the auction to get a glimpse at what’s for sale.

“Many of these buyers are professionals who make their livelihood by knowing,” said Benny Fischer of the Fischer Auction Company, “so that’s why we have this entire day — to let them handle, touch and feel, and then ascertain their ability and desire to pay whatever they wish.”

The law of supply and demand controls the price of the items, and the money from whatever is sold does not go to the state but into a fund.

The money will remain in the fund in case the rightful owner comes forward.

Carr said, “If they come forward in five or 10 years, they may not be able to get that baseball card, but they can get the money we earned for that baseball card.”

If an item’s rightful owner does come forward, the state will require proper proof that it belonged to them.

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