Leicester

Leicestershire Police sell criminals' BMW on eBay

Car was confiscated from a criminal by Leicestershire Police
Image caption Leicestershire Police sold a 2009 BMW M3 for £26,000 and a Rolex watch for £3,500 on eBay

A BMW M3, a Rolex watch and plasma TVs are among items seized from criminals and sold by a police force on eBay.

In the past five months the Leicestershire Police scheme has raised £80,000 and more than £350,000 since it started in September 2009.

The goods, confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act, were bought legitimately by criminals with "dirty money" and were not stolen.

The products for sale online have also recently been advertised on Twitter.

'Public purse'

The BMW sold for £26,000 while the Rolex watch went for £3,500.

Det Insp Paul Wenlock, head of the Economic Crime Unit at Leicestershire Police, said: "We want people to tweet items of interest to their friend networks to maximise the amount we can get for each item.

Image caption Leicestershire Police has more than 3,100 followers on Twitter

"Many of our customers enjoy buying goods at well below list price with the added bonus of knowing the money is going back into the public purse to fund local good causes."

So far six community projects in the county have benefited from the "very successful" scheme including the New Parks Community Boxing Gym (£6,000), the Neighbourhood Watch 'Harborough Be Safe' project (£9,000), and the Goldhill Adventure Playground (£11,000).

The force has previously used auction houses to sell the items, but through eBay they hoped to reach "a far bigger audience".

Other items sold include game consoles, camera equipment, designer clothing and jewellery.

Mr Wenlock said other forces were interested in the scheme and some were using "us to sell items that they have through our eBay site".

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