The TSA's Warehouse Of The Weird

It looks like an airport security junkyard. In Harrisburg, Pa., there's a warehouse chock-full of the knives, scissors, tools and other items confiscated at checkpoints at three major East Coast airports since 9/11.

And believe it or not, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr, a lot of the stuff can be yours — on eBay.

Fifteen pounds of used nail clippers "would usually go for $20 or $20," says Mary Beth Enggren, who runs the salvage program for Pennsylvania. "But heck, for you," she tells Orr, "we'd give it to you for $10."

Pennsylvania makes about $15,000 every month selling the loot collected at Philadelphia's airport, as well as those in New York and Boston. In the warehouse, business comes before memories.

Enggren's duties will sound familiar to veteran eBay-ers. "I sort the property and do the descriptions and take the picture, post the property, answer the questions and send the items out," she says.

The recycled loot runs from the routine — tons of knives, scissors and corkscrews — to the ridiculous, like a 2½-foot machete.

"I think it will probably bring in the $30-$50 range," Enggren says.

If you're not into machetes, there's plenty of other oddball stuff up for grabs, including some fuzzy handcuffs.

"We also have plain handcuffs, if you're not really into the leopard skin thing," she says. "My question is not how I would package it, but why are so many Americans carrying fuzzy handcuffs onto an airplane."

While this may be the warehouse of the weird, the fliers who used to own these items aren't thrilled that Pennsylvania and a few other states are cashing in on their lost loot. Says one woman, "I'll have to look and see if my scissors that I loved are on there and buy them for $100.

For that $100, the woman could buy 60 pounds of scissors. And Eggren will throw in the box, too.
  • John Kreiser

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