Sex doll, stripper pole for sale at Auckland's police auctions

Once a month, people from all over New Zealand flock to Thornton Auctions in Auckland.

This is where police sell off all the stolen items that can't be traced to their owners, as well as dispose of their lost and founds.

It's a family business owned and run by Alex Dawson, along with his son, his wife and his mother.

Looking around gives you a fascinating insight into what people are losing - and what criminals are stealing.

The night Newshub attended we saw a bow (minus the arrows), metal tile surrounds, a mobile strippers pole and large amounts of electronic devices.

They aren't even the strangest things to have been sold here.

"The weirdest thing anybody's bought was a one-litre jar of vaseline, 1kg of Jaffas and a blow-up sex doll," says Ethan, who works at the auctions.

The auction house doesn't want to speculate on what they did with this combination.

The auctions have their own following. A miscellaneous group of people of all backgrounds united by one common thing - the buzz of winning a stolen piece of treasure.

There's electricity in the air. There's a sense of competition - the thrill of the chase. Who can get the item? Who can grab the bargain?

"I think you need to come with at least 500 bucks," says one eager punter.

It's that feeling that brings people back. Mr Dawson says that people have come along on a date - with their partner in tow. Now, they're regulars.

It seems that what's more important than the items themselves are the people, and the excitement of grabbing a steal.

It's this that makes this place so special and keeps the would-be winners coming back.