Ozzie Smith autograph among items in state auction next Tuesday

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An autograph from former St. Louise Cardinal and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith will be among the pieces of unclaimed property that will be auctioned off by the state next week.

In Columbia on Tuesday, the State Treasurer’s office will be auctioning off more than 1,000 pieces of property abandoned by their owners, which are now in the possession of the state. Items for sale include sports memorabilia, jewelry and a variety of rare coins.

The items in the auction are collected from safe deposit boxes turned over to Treasurer Clint Zweifel after five years of no contact with the owners. This year alone, the treasurer received Unclaimed Property from more than 1,200 safe deposit boxes from more than 100 banks. The items in the auction represent less than 1 percent of the $600 million held in more than 3.5 million owner accounts.

An auction to help clear the state’s vaults is required by statute, but Zweifel says none of the money will go to the government.

“A lot of money is going to be made at this auction, and all of it will go to the owners of the property,” Zweifel said. “It never becomes property of the state; it is held forever in the owners’ names. My team will continue working to return money and property to owners or their heirs because I want it all out the door and in the economy.”

The auction starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center in Columbia. The sale will be conducted by auctioneer James Johnston of Marshall, Mo. More information, including a lot book, is available at www.treasurer.mo.gov.