$13K Rolex, power tools and—as always—bikes among stolen goods at VPD auction
Police often say the sale of stolen goods on the streets of Vancouver is worth even more than the drug trade, and after a quick look inside Able Auctions in Surrey, it's easy to see what they mean.
In a preview of this year's Recovered Goods Auction, CTV News cameras captured a plethora of different items that will go on sale to the public this weekend.
The auction will include stacks of cash from all over the world, a Rolex watch worth $13,000 and a variety of musical instruments. Numerous power tools and generators will also be sold off.
Common household items and personal hygiene products were also a popular category of stolen goods this year, including toothbrushes, laundry pods, razor blades, cosmetics and even adult diapers.
High-end jewelry, luggage and fashion accessories will also be on sale.
As usual, there will also be hundreds of high-end bicycles up for grabs.
Most of the goods in the annual auction are recovered by police after being stolen.
"Those would be items that were most likely shoplifted and then people are trying to resell them," said Const. Anne-Marie Clark.
In areas such as Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, household goods that are easy to shoplift are often sold for much lower prices.
"Other items are found property that either we found or members of the public have found," Clark said.
Last year, a CTV News investigation revealed that shoplifting schemes have become such a problem in some neighbourhoods of Metro Vancouver that they're outpacing drug trafficking, and are also targeting vulnerable residents of the region.
Large-scale retail scammers known as "fences" look for vulnerable residents, often drug addicts, and pay them 10 cents on the dollar for items they shoplift from local stores.
In some cases they will even buy drugs for their hired thieves, as long as it keeps them stealing, Vancouver police told CTV's St. John Alexander.
Authorities estimate that about $50,000 worth of stolen goods is exchanged on a single block of East Hastings Street every day.
The stolen goods auction will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Able Auctions, located at 13557 77 Avenue in Surrey.
With files from CTV Vancouver's St John Alexander