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Where Do Those TSA and Other Security Confiscated Pen Knives, Manicure Scissors, Skate Tools Go? How About Stolen Guitars?

roadskater's picture

I bet you've had a skate tool taken now and then at airport security, right? I did. I had a somewhat sentimental first edition roadskater.net (home-branded) long handle Allen wrench taken when I boarded with my skates, forgetting to put the tool in luggage. They were entirely uncaring and unhelpful of course.

Maybe USPS could have Priority Mail boxes and APCs there and we could mail them to ourselves! The government would make some money but at least in the service of us keeping our personal stuff, instead of them making money off our personal stuff. Huh?

I admit that at the time everyone was worried if stupidly about anything that could in any way be considered dangerous ever in any circumstances oh my, so I understood the confiscation, but not the unhelpfulness. But I got over it and it's one reason I quit flying for several years.

But it always bugs me a bit that I had my skate tool yanked and I wonder now and then where it might be. But I never checked ebay!

Not long ago while searching for a particular skate tool online I went to ebay, and was shocked to see how many confiscated items are for sale there. Look for the ebay search box in my sidebar if you like and search for:

  • confiscated
  • tsa
  • (knife, knives)
  • (scissors, shears)

You can bet there are tons more listed on places we know less about...and even more sold out of the backs of white vans and black SUVs and such.

I saw a story on the news today about a woman doing jury duty who had a silver 2" fine jewelry decorative "Swiss Army" (which appeared to be the Victorinox not the lesser Wenger version) confiscated when she went through security at the courthouse. It was a sentimental gift from her husband fourteen years ago or some such. Good on ya for managing to stay married, btw! She asked if she could take it back out to her car and leave it there. They said "NO, ONCE IT GOES THROUGH THE XRAY IT BELONGS TO US!"

The interviewing street news dude was good in getting this story this far and bringing this issue up, and I thought, well if we can't hear news from the rest of the world, at least this is something that has happened to many of us. But then Poofhaired Goob Big Loose Tie Boom Voice Teleprompter Slave Lunch Anchor said something like, "Oh well it was clearly on the list of prohibited items."

Listen Spongebrain, it's not the point! Security has you in a vulnerable position, often hurried, late, with other people watching, on the spot! But this woman had time to go to her car and back and it wouldn't have hurt anyone.

So you have to wonder, WHY? And I have to ask, is there any money to follow here?

I'm sure you've had a skate tool, tiny scissors or pen knife stolen from you this way too in the name of security, while other items potentially as dangerous are allowed to pass.

I wrote to the news station thus:

I just saw your story about the woman who had her 2" silver Swiss army knife confiscated (stolen) by the enforcement officers at the court where she was doing jury duty. I didn't like the way the newscopy writer left the story, requiring the announcer to say this item was clearly on the list of prohibited items. That is NOT THE POINT. The point is the woman and the rest of us should be allowed to leave the building without the item being confiscated. Aside from this being ridiculous as a security risk when pencils and pens are allowed (or other objects which may be used as weapons), the point is that the person's property is being confiscated and becomes property of the governmental or quasi-governmental agency providing security.

A real news organization would follow the story to find out WHAT HAPPENS to the objects taken by the police this way. Have you looked on EBAY.COM searching with the words...
confiscated (knives, scissors)

[I included a link for a specific auction.]
Now this is airport security, but do you think this might happen with goods confiscated by the sheriff? Might this be an income stream for someone? Might the security officers or organization be encouraged to take items of worth for a profit motive?

I hope you'll look into it.

I did receive a moderately generic reply and I hope the news department will follow this story. Once the governmental agencies begin to make money from stolen, unclaimed and confiscated property, surely there is an incentive for them to sieze more, or to be less diligent in identifying the past owners of newly found or sized property, justifying it perhaps (and sometimes even with good and true intentions) as one more way to fund their law enforcement operations...or even charitible endeavors. But when an individual or organization doing security can start making money on eBay by confiscating goods, even on the sly, don't you think it makes it more likely that more items will be taken? And the same is true for a police or sheriff department.

I wonder where my stolen Martin HD-28 Guitar is!? As rsn1.net says...

~ my guitar of 22 years, a 1979 c.f. martin herringbone hd-28 (#404970) was stolen december 19, 2001.
if you have info please call the greensboro police: 336.574.4031 incident #2001-293150. ~

If you know where it is, please email me because I don't really trust the police not to sell it!

They didn't seem too eager to help me track that down, and I understand it's not a dead person, but it is a broken heart and was a tool of my trade at the time.

There's a specific website for police auctions and I don't think I'll even promote them here, but let it suffice to say, I'm sorry for the woman whose pen knife was stolen by the deputies or security officers, but I'm so sarcastically glad she can't hijack a place or threaten the judge with harm with that little pen knife of hers. I guess the armed guards in the courtroom wouldn't know how to handle that one. Whew, that was close. Another day protecting justice!

I'm glad to live in the United States of America and I'm also glad that today, this seems to be my biggest problem. Well, it's not, but it's the biggest one I can deal with right now, and it makes me feel a bit better being able to tell you what's on my mind. I still think we're all connected and that this woman's lost silver Swiss Army penknife is my loss too, so call me fruitcake and we'll all go skate in Claxton again some day! When is that Cruisin' in the Country? Good times.

Skateylove, y'all...roadskater


Cruisin' in the Country (the first century I skated) Claxton, Georgia
United States
32° 9' 40.734" N, 81° 54' 14.6772" W


roadskater's picture

Oops, it was November 8, 2008...Same as RSNCC

Yee haw I hate I clashed with Claxton. They have about the same mission of offering up a long slow century with good times, and they provide more than we were able to in our first year. http://www.claxtonevanschamber.com/cruisin.php Check out the gator in that photo ('back that is, at the bottom of the pic). It's a nice site and has lots of great info, so I'm not slammin' it. We had a nice time and if we can stay in shape for the Carolina Century then do the Claxton, that'd get us deeper into the winter in some non-Pillsbury shape hoffentlich. Fruitcake. The only food that really keeps your papers on the desk or your door open. Requires not eating it, preferably not even opening it, just enjoying the fancy colors and shiny wrapper!

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