Big bargains will be had this Saturday at Able Auctions in Newton as thousands of dollars in stolen property recovered by Vancouver Police over the past year will be sold.
Expect meaty 22-Karat gold bracelets, computers, snowboards, tools, guitars, riflescopes, clothing, guitars, designer purses, golf clubs, vintage comics, big drones, more than 250 bikes – you get the picture. There’s even a Breitling man’s wristwatch, appraised at $7,500.
“These are items that throughout the course of the year we’ve recovered through police investigations and unfortunately we’ve been unable to locate the owners for many of these items, so here they are,” said Justin Hull, supervisor of the Property and Evidence Control Section of Vancouver Police Department.
Able Auctions’ principal Rob Kavanaugh is hosting the sale, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at 13557 77th Ave. Doors open to the public at 8 a.m.
“There’s definitely going to be some deals, and lots of great fun,” he said. Public previews will be Thursday and Friday, from noon to 6 p.m.
Kavanaugh advises potential shoppers to pick up a catalogue during the previews, make some notes and do their research before the big auction. “There’s pretty much everything – you name it, it’s here,” he said. Bargains can be had at “maybe 25 per cent of the new price,” he added.
Ross Jackson, manager of the Vancouver Police property office, is a retired police officer who served for 28 years.
“There’s a myriad of collectibles as well,” he noted. The property to be auctioned has nothing to do with the provincial civil forfeiture program, where the government sells off property it deems to have been gained through criminal activity.
The property being auctioned off Saturday, he said, is “from police investigations, mostly. There’s a lot of found property that comes into the property office. People tend to not record the serial numbers for some of these high-end bikes.”
Jackson said a full-time Vancouver Police officer tries to find the rightful owners. If the officer can’t, their property ends up here. “There’s any number of data bases that she checks, Craigslist for one, Kijiji, they’ll check them all to see if they can get the bikes back to people,” Jackson said. “Even though we do our very best, and our goal is to get everything back to the rightful owner, it’s still very tough sometimes.”
What’s the most unusual thing on the block Saturday? “Hockey goalie pads. I think we have a dive suit as well.
“What we would encourage people to do, for a bike, any bike at all, is take a photo of it, and also record the serial number. You can also engrave your driver’s licence, or your parent’s driver’s licence if you’re a young kid, into some portion of the bike. That allows us to do a search and we can get the property back. You can do that with tools, electronics, TVs, do the same thing.
“The money from this auction will go back into (Vancouver) city coffers,” he noted. “And what they do with that…?”