LONDON — A young Briton sentenced to six years in jail for a weapons charge after firing a gun at a blue Jaguar will lose more than his freedom.
The police in Gloucestershire, in southwestern England, plan to auction off some of his most precious possessions: designer sneakers.
The luxury footwear collection — 55 pairs with brand names like Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo — is estimated to be worth around £18,500, or about $23,500, the Gloucestershire police force said in a statement on Saturday.
In stripping Isaiah Hanson-Frost, 22, of his designer shoes, the Gloucestershire police appear to want to teach would-be criminals a lesson.
“We often see the reason for someone to commit crime is down to their own personal greed and to make money,” said Detective Inspector Dave Shore-Nye.
“We are keen to put a stop to anyone who is living a lavish lifestyle which has been funded through crime,” Detective Shore-Nye added.
Mr. Hanson-Frost has been in jail since April, when he admitted being in possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and violent disorder, the police said. He was given a six-year prison term for firing at the Jaguar in November 2017.
Along with his brother and two friends, who received shorter sentences for violent disorder, Mr. Hanson-Frost was thought to be embroiled in a gang feud over drugs, the BBC reported. The opposing gang members who were shot at withheld information about their assailants, the police said, but Mr. Hanson-Frost’s DNA was found on the gun.
During a hearing last month, he agreed to give up his pricey sneakers to the police force.
Auctions of items seized from criminals are not uncommon in Britain, but there are companies for such sales. According to the London mayor’s office, Wilson Auctions and John Pye & Sons hold public auctions of items from criminal investigations, along with surplus government equipment.
More than £100,000 was raised in one auction last February, during which items seized from a couple accused of fraud and money laundering in Scotland were sold. These included a Birkin bag, Louboutin stilettos, Mercedes-Benz cars and a Rolex, among others.
Items seized after a criminal trial are often “ identified by the court as being available to sell,” Aidan Larkin, an auctioneer and group asset recovery manager at Wilsons, told The Daily Mail.
“Our job is to take these expensive assets and put them on the market for the highest possible price,” he said, adding that in cases where victims have been identified, any money raised “will eventually make its way back to them.”
Proceeds from the sneaker auction in Gloucestershire will also be put to “good use,” Detective Shore-Nye said. He said the money would be given to the High Sheriff’s Fund, which encourages activities that divert young people from a life in crime, and to the Getting Court program, which allows students to witness trials in Gloucestershire.
As to what shoes Mr. Hanson-Frost will wear once his jail term is up, the police did not leave him barefoot. He was allowed to keep Nike sneakers priced below £100.