The Place for Online Steals
By Stephen Gandel

(MONEY Magazine) – Remember watching Crockett and Tubbs bust drug lords on Miami Vice and wondering what happened to all those cigarette boats, LeRoy Neiman paintings and Betamax video gear when South Beach's bad guys went to jail? No need to wonder these days because more and more stolen loot is being auctioned off at The website has agreements with 400 police departments in 27 states to hawk stolen or illegally obtained items that officers have recovered. Once the stuff is no longer needed as evidence, Stealitback sells the items eBay-style. There is plenty of stuff on Stealitback that you'd expect to find at a bust, except guns. The site has a wide variety of holsters and rifle scopes (categorized under hunting) and lamps that could be used to grow plants you would want to hide from authorities (listed under gardening). But there are also computers, engagement rings, kayaks, luggage--even foreclosed real estate and government land. Many items sell at bargain prices, and the site gives a photo, a good description and a condition rating for each. Some items are sold in random lots, like you'd see at a police auction. Recently, you could have bought a camera, police scanner, cell phone and rap CD--all for $38. A steal, for sure. --STEPHEN GANDEL