NORTH OGDEN -- Perhaps one can tell something about a town from the inventories the police department announces to be disposed of to clear out storage and evidence lockers.
In North Ogden's case, that's 20 bicycles, diabetic equipment, some beer, a couple cell phones and iPods, a lawnmower and a wedding ring. Also a VISA check card, car parts, outdoor recreation items, jewelry, plus four single dollar bills and a $10 dollar bill.
The department's annual, sometimes biannual, house-cleaning comes as storage space needs to be cleared of found, abandoned or unclaimed property, sometimes tied to criminal cases. That's to make room for the incoming round of property, explained departmental spokesman Det. Paul Rhoades.
The current slew of items to be destroyed sometime after Oct. 1 is listed on the city's website, northogdencity.com.
"Anyone wishing to claim found property will be required to provide an accurate description of the items claimed," reads a press release on the coming disposal. "Owners must also provide personal identification when claiming property."
All the items in question were recovered between Jan. 5, 2012 and the end of June of this year.
That includes the wedding ring collected Mar. 22, 2012, the lawnmower on June 15, a Remington 870 shotgun on Feb. 3, and a black leather jacket on Sept. 11, 2012, among the more high-end items on the list.
"Most of it isn't criminal," Rhoades said. "That's another event," he said, referring to the annual, or biannual, burning of evidence from criminal cases.
Criminal evidence would include the maybe 10 ounces of cocaine police seize in a typical year in North Ogden and a smattering of grams of meth, he said.
"With us it's not pounds, but ounces and grams," he said.
The evidence burns are more involved, often requiring prosecutors, even judges to sign off on the items to be disposed of, Rhoades said.
Some with the North Ogden department were curious as to whether new wording in state law might require the department to purchase a legal notice with a newspaper for the unclaimed property disposals or the evidence burns.
But Standard-Examiner classified ads director Dave Newman said that's not the case.
"We don't really see them very often," he said.
If they were required by law, considering all police departments in the counties the newspaper regularly serves, the revenue would be substantial, he said.
"Maybe we should talk to the Legislature," he quipped.