Weird and wacky stolen goods up for grabs 0
Hundreds of bicycles will be sold off at the annual police recovered goods auction this Saturday. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)
It's a steal of a deal - literally - as more than 1,000 stolen but unclaimed items hit the auction block this weekend at the Vancouver Police Department's annual recovered goods auction.
The items, left over from theft investigations, range from the typical - widescreen televisions, power washers, snowboards and guitars - to the downright quirky.
"You name it, we have it," said auctioneer Rob Kavanagh of Able Auctions, which has hosted the police sale for the last 15 years.
"There's something for everybody."
Among the stranger offerings at the auction are a suitcase of vintage G.I. Joe figurines, a large bag of Gillette razor samples, a pair of crutches paired with skis, and a box of neon thong underwear.
But Ian Wightman, manager of the VPD's property office, has seen even weirder.
"We had a completely anatomical doll," Wightman said, speculating it was likely stolen from a medical school. "The heart, liver - you could take it all apart."
Kavanagh also noted jewelry has sold for about 25% of retail price at previous years' auctions. This year's jewelry selection includes Tiffany & Co. pieces and a Vacheron Constantin ladies gold watch, worth about $12,500.
But the biggest draw is more than 400 bicycles. Wightman said bikes often sell from $10 up to $3,000, depending on the model.
"Some of these high-end road bikes are worth thousands of dollars and there will be some deals had," he said. Several scooters and custom-painted helmets are also up for grabs.
However, inexperienced bargain hunters should do their research beforehand.
"It's a fast-paced, fun day," Kavanagh said, noting the speed with which things sell - often within 30 seconds - can be intimidating for first-time bidders. Anywhere from 75 to 100 items are auctioned each hour during the eight-hour event.
Both Kavanagh and Wightman recommend bidders looking for specific items attend public preview times on Thursday or Friday, note the lot number, then research retail prices online before bidding on Saturday.
"I always tell people. 'It's an auction. Don't get excited. Know what you're buying,'" Wightman said.
Last year's auction generated $150,000 in revenue, all of which goes back to the City of Vancouver.
Able Auctions warehouse
1055 Vernon Drive, Vancouver
Thursday, May 3 from12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, May 4 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m.