Cities prepare to auction off dozens of bikes, other items that are likely stolen property

Cities prepare to auction off dozens of bikes, other items that are likely stolen property

(KUTV) On Saturday, June 9, 2018, the TNT Auction yard in Salt Lake City is fit to be hopping with people looking for a deal. Cities all over the Wasatch Front will be auctioning stuff they no longer want. TNT’s lot is full of cars, trucks, ambulances and retired police motorcycles.

But the cities won't just be auctioning off stuff they once purchased. They will also be auctioning off stuff they seized.

Several items that were once “police evidence” will be sold, including dozens of bicycles. Many of the bikes look fancy and expensive and are likely to fetch a pretty penny for the municipality even though many, if not most, are lost or stolen property that was recovered by police.

Detective Greg Wilking with the Salt Lake City police department says bike-theft is one of the highest reported crimes. He says the department wants to be able to reunite victims with their stolen goods but that is often challenging because many victims don’t know their bicycle’s serial number sp when they recover a bike they suspect is stolen, they can't easily identity to whom it belongs.

"If people have their serial numbers and give them to us when their bike is stolen there is a better chance that we can recover those stolen items and then possibly hold somebody accountable," he said.

And alas, when cops recover stolen property but don't know who the victim is, they can't just hang on to it forever. After several months, they auction it off. The proceeds go into the city's general fund.

Det. Wilking says the city would happily not collect the cash if it meant making a victim whole.

"We would rather return the bikes to the people that they belong to - but that isn't always the case and as you can see by the pile of bicycles, it happens quite often," he said.

For those who haven't claimed their stolen property, in a couple of days those bikes, and just about everything else you can imagine, will be going to the highest bidder.

The auction takes place all day Saturday and there is a preview day Friday, Jun 8, 2018. For more information, click HERE

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