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Vancouver police to auction stolen goods on Saturday

The Vancouver police are holding their annual auction of recovered stolen property on Saturday, with public previews on Thursday and Friday.

A wide assortment of recovered stolen property will be auctioned, including more than 300 bicycles

The Vancouver Police Department is holding its annual auction of recovered stolen property on Saturday, with public previews on Thursday and Friday.

This year, more than 300 bicycles will be auctioned, along with a wide assortment of items, including sports equipment, power tools, jewelry and musical instruments.

"Everything goes, because it's an unreserved auction, so it doesn't matter how low the price is, it sells. So, definitely everything will sell," said Able Auctions auctioneer Rob Kavanagh.

"The educated auction buyer will come to the preview Thursday, Friday between noon and six and they'll go home and do their research, see how much it's worth, see how much it's worth used, and they'll set their budgets."

Ian Wightman, who manages the VPD's property and forensic storage unit has been involved in the annual auction since 2003.

The VPD's Ian Wightman shows off some of the property available this Saturday. 1:41

This year, a red penny-farthing bike stands out for Wightman, who suspects the owner may surface before the auction actually begins.

"That's probably the most peculiar thing we have this year," he said.

Wightman said, in an ideal world, none of the property would be auctioned off — it would all be returned to its rightful owners. But he expects Saturday's auction will bring in about $200,000 for the City of Vancouver, minus Able Auctions' commission.

There are about 800 lots in this year's auction, some are single items like bicycles, but many are bags, or bundles of items. There's a set of four sturdy bolt cutters in one lot, and a bag full of toothbrushes and toothpaste in another. Kavanagh guesses that the bolt cutters may sell for about $50.

"I recommend everybody come to the preview, because they're not going to see any of this property the day of the auction," said Wightman. "It's in the back and it just comes onto the stage, it's sold and then it goes back into the back."

He added that people hoping to recover stuff that's been stolen should check out the preview and make a claim before it goes to auction on Saturday morning.

The previews and auction are held at Able Auctions, located at 1055 Vernon Drive in Vancouver.

An example of one of the lots, a bag of mixed items to be auctioned. This bag contains a bunch of yarn, some light bulbs, and more. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

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