Many seized items at YVR may end up in thrift store


Rafe Arnott/metro vancouver


Wayne Macht, chapel assistant at YVR, shows what two weeks worth of confiscated items looks like. All were taken from passengers before boarding their flights, including the bowling ball and toy gun.


If you’ve ever had something seized from your carry-on by airport security, there’s a good chance you might see it again at a Vancouver thrift store.

Last year, YVR staff confiscated roughly 125,000 prohibited items from outbound passengers, according to Mathieu Larocque with the Canadian Airport Transportation Security Authority.

"That’s not including liquids and gels," he said.

Each airport authority disposes of confiscated items in their own way. In Vancouver the items are sent to the chaplain’s office where they’re shipped out once a week to charity.

Wayne Macht, a volunteer at the chaplain’s office, said expensive items, like Swiss army knives or sporting goods, are sold at flea markets or Play It Again Sports.

Other items are given to Lower Mainland charities, like the Salvation Army.

"We have four medium-sized boxes of articles and one box of lighters," he said, adding that manicure scissors are the most common item. "We fill about two boxes a week."

He said he’s seen bullets, bear and pepper spray, $150 controls for a refrigerator cooling system and a horsewhip made out of an animal claw. "We get all sorts of things. Sometimes it’s unbelievable."

Stella Jondral, 16, said she’s been caught seven times with banned carry-on items, the most expensive object being an $80 Zippo.

"I forget and pack them," she said yesterday at YVR.

restricted items

  • Banned:

- Billiard cues

- Piñatas.

- Meat thermometers.

  • Permitted:

-Cremated human remains accompanied by cremation certificate.

- Small screwdrivers, corkscrews and forks.

- Gel-filled bras.