Hundreds of stolen rings, necklaces, bracelets, power tools, antique coins, televisions, typewriters, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers and kitchen sinks and one small tractor will be on display today and tomorrow for inspection by area robbery and burglary victims.
A total of 15,000 items will be on display at the D.C. police training academy at 4665 Blue Plains Dr. SW. Anyone who has a police report documenting a theft from the District or a surrounding jurisdiction can see the display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow
The items were confiscated by the D.C. police department's Repeat Offenders Project during May and June when it closed three robbery rings. Police estimated the value of the stolen items at $3 million.
Police said they made the unusual decision to ask for the public's help because the amount of property overwhelmed police storage areas. No one will be allowed to take anything home this weekend. Detectives from Prince Geroge's, Montgomery, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties as well as from the District and Alexandria will interview persons claiming property. Police hope that items properly identified will be released within two weeks.
Anything not claimed and released by the courts following any pending trials will be auctioned.
It all resembles an enormous yard sale, but with better-than-average items. Among the estimated 500 rings on display will be class rings from Fordham, Maryland, Emory and Southwestern universities as well as from Western and Terrell high schools. There are numerous wedding bands and engagement rings, some with names and dates inscribed on them. Hundreds of gold and silver chains fill three of the locked cases.
Expensive power tools, both new and used, are crowded on one side of the room. Band saws, sanders, drills, jackhammers and compressors as well as large and small toolboxes cover a large part of the display area.
Inspector Ed Spurlock, head of the Repeat Offenders Project, said that the enormous amount of stolen property shows that "there are a lot of people out there stealing.