Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Deals and steals at police auction

Annual sale of stolen, unclaimed goods

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Anyone looking for a bargain on a used gun case or a 270-kilogram marble lion statue was in luck Sunday. The Winnipeg Police Service held its annual unclaimed-goods auction to a packed house of haggle-hungry Winnipeggers.

"This is Winnipeg. Everybody's looking for a deal," joked Jeff Noiseux, general manager of Asociated Auto Auction, which hosted the Winnipeg Police Service sale.

"We advise people not to get too carried away, 'cause every year it happens that people are paying more than they could have gotten new. But it's a fun environment. Even if you pay too much, people have fun with it."

Among the 400 lots up for grabs were a five-metre aluminum canoe, a pair of Milt Stegall Blue Bombers jerseys, an air-hockey table and a skateboard ramp. The random array of goods was all stolen or unclaimed from police.

Nick Rogocki is the proud new owner of the heavy marble lion statue. His $60 bid won the statue, though Noiseux worried how the new owner would get it home.

"We had to use a forklift to move it, it's so heavy," Noiseux said.

After the adrenaline from winning the statue cleared, Rogocki had the same concerns.

"If it's as heavy as they say it is, I'm going to have a hard time getting it home. I drive a Corolla," Rogocki said.

Rogocki was one of more than 400 registered bidders who packed the Headingley auction house for the two-hour sale. Folks bid high and low on everything from a bow-and-arrow case, an iPhone 4S, and a power drill to Tommy Hilfiger jeans.

Duncan Bowes walked away with a new suit for only $14. Even if it doesn't fit, he said, he'll find a use for it.

"I needed a new blazer anyway. If the size is wrong, I can just re-gift it," he said.

Billy Turner's $220 bid earned him a set of Callaway golf clubs. Turner, who has never golfed before, said he came into the auction without a strategy.

"We're just kind of winging it. We like to go to auctions, even though we don't exactly buy something every time. Maybe this will get me into golf," Turner said.

Perhaps the most unique item was Kerry Eckert's purchase -- a hay wagon -- for $550. Eckert, who's a contractor, frequents auctions such as this one searching for cheap hauling equipment.

katherine.dow@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 3, 2012 A6

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