Tarrant County to Auction Vehicles, Property Seized from Drug Dealers

Items include jewelry, safes and cash-counting machines

Tarrant County on Saturday will auction off more than 100 vehicles and confiscated property from drug dealers, including jewelry, safes and cash-counting machines.

"There's a price on everything, and everybody wants something," said auctioneer Rene Bates, who says his age is "70-plus."

The McKinney auctioneer has been auctioning Tarrant County surplus property since the 1970s.

Bates, of McKinney, started his business 50 years ago.

"It was either pick cotton or talking, and I'd rather talk than pick cotton," he said.

He said surplus government vehicles, including old police cruisers, are the big sellers.

"The Tahoes right now are the hottest things in the world," he said.

But it's the stuff seized from drug dealers that really gets his attention.

"I don't want to be in jail with it, but there's a story there," Bates said. "I keep telling people, 'You sell dope in Texas and they are going to take your stuff away from you.'"

The items up for auction include big safes, police scanners and even cash-counting machines.

"You know they've got to be making a lot of money or they wouldn't have to have counters to count them $100 bills to send off," Bates said.

And then, there's the fancy – some would say gaudy – jewelry.

"They got to spend it somewhere," Bates said.

Tarrant County purchasing officer Jack Beacham said this year's auction is the biggest in years.

It will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Windy Ryon Rodeo Arena in Saginaw.

The items will be available for inspection on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Buyers must bring cash, a cashier's check or a formal letter from their bank.

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