Rob Kavanagh of Able Auctions with items up for bid during the Vancouver Police Recovered Goods Auction, to be held at the company’s Newton warehouse on Saturday, April 28. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

VIDEO: Police Recovered Goods auction in Surrey includes 300-plus bikes, jewelry, more

Annual event to be held Saturday, April 28 at Able Auction’s Newton location

If you’ve had your stuff stolen in Vancouver in recent months, there’s a good chance it’s being auctioned in Newton this coming weekend.

The annual Vancouver Police Recovered Goods Auction will take place Saturday (April 28) at Able Auctions’ Surrey location, 13557 77th Ave., near King George Boulevard. Doors open to the public at 8 a.m.

Close to 300 bikes, a large selection of jewelry and other items will be up for bid during the annual event.

“It’s an unreserved auction, and everything sells to the highest bidder – it doesn’t matter what price,” auctioneer Rob Kavanagh said Wednesday. “Pretty much anything you can name, it’s here.”


The popular auction – among the year’s largest for Able – includes goods recovered by the VPD that have gone unclaimed over the past six months. Not all of the items were stolen, though; some were lost and later turned in to police by honest citizens who found them, said Const. Anne-Marie Clark.

Kavanagh, a 30-year auction pro, said most of the stuff will be auctioned at a fraction of their original value.

“A $500 bike can go for something like $100,” he said, “and people love a good deal like that.

“Maybe someone will find a bike that’s been stolen from them, and that’s happened in the past here,” Kavanagh continued. “They come to the auction and go, ‘That’s my bike, it was stolen last year.’”

Previews for the in-person auction are Thursday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and the bidding starts Saturday at 9 a.m. Photos of the goods are posted to the auction house’s website (

The auction begins with bikes, moves on to jewelry and then ends with general merchandise, including guitars, tools, kitchen appliances, clothing, foreign currency and more.

Some of the more unusual items include laundry detergent pods, adult diapers and bags of pennies and razors.

Expensive goods include a Victoria Beckham-brand blouse worth $15,000 and a ladies Rolex watch valued at around $13,000.

Kavanagh said a lot of familiar faces attend the auction every year, and newbies shouldn’t be intimidated.

“It’s a fun, exciting, and fast-paced,” he said. “I mean, at first they might think, ‘Oh, what’s that guy saying?’ but after a couple of minutes people get what’s going on and they get into it. We have a screen with the item on it, and they can see the price, and if someone has questions or doesn’t understand, we can help answer them.”

The auction is expected to attract close to 1,000 people.

“Not all at once though,” Kavanagh explained. “We get the people who are looking for a bike, and the crowd will change for the jewelry, and it will again for the general merchandise. People know what they’re coming for, pretty much.”

The auction house will look a lot different come Saturday.

“Friday night, all these bikes will be gone from here, with chairs set up for people, for the auction,” Kavanagh said.

On auction day, his job is a busy one.

“People can hold up their hand or a paddle, either or, and they can bid however they like – raise their hand, wink at me, whatever,” Kavanagh, a Surrey resident, said with a laugh. “My head’s always going like this (scanning the crowd), and I have to see it. It’s all about watching for movement.”

Proceeds from the auction are funneled back to City of Vancouver general revenues.

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Auctioneer Rob Kavanagh in video posted to Able Auction’s Facebook page.

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