Pittsburgh airport auctions lost and found items, including abandoned cars

Lost and found items at Pittsburgh International Airport don’t get thrown out. Instead, they are sold for a good cause.

Jewelry, iPhones, watches and even chargers end up with new owners at the airport’s annual auction, which attracts hundreds of visitors a year.

"Anything that was lost and found, the money that we get for that, we donate that to charity,” Pittsburgh International Airport Spokesperson Bob Kerlik told Fox News. Among the charities that will benefit are Circles of Greater Pittsburgh, The Lion’s Club, Pittsburgh Chapter and Global Links.

This year's auction had a historic turnout, with more 1,000 attendees. About 400 of them were registered bidders.

One of the biggest items left behind at the airport: cars. About a dozen vehicles abandoned at the airport were sold to the highest bidder.

“I bought a new Jeep Wrangler,” Hollie Mcaleer said.

Kerlik said employees are often asked why people would abandon their cars at the airport.

“The answer is: ‘We don’t know,’” Kerlik said.

Kerlik told Fox News the airport and local authorities try to contact the car’s owners and their families, but many don’t come back to get their vehicles.

"If there’s no response, then it comes back to us for sale,” Kerlik said.

Mcaleer said the airport was the last place she expected to find her next ride.

"Online maybe, but not at an airport,” Mcaleer said with a laugh. 

Airport equipment is also up for auction. Kerlik says many of the maintenance vehicles that have come to the end of its life can go for thousands of dollars to bidders who want to make use of its parts. The money made from airport equipment goes back to the airport budget, Kerlik added.

Airport authorities also said they donated clothes, glasses and medical equipment left in the lost and found to local charities.

Michelle Chavez is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Pittsburgh.