The Juneau Police Department will hold an online vehicle auction beginning Jan. 27 at 8 a.m. (Courtesy photo)

The Juneau Police Department will hold an online vehicle auction beginning Jan. 27 at 8 a.m. (Courtesy photo)

JPD to hold first vehicle auction of new year

26 unclaimed vehicles are up for grabs.

The Juneau Police Department will hold an auction for 26 unclaimed vehicles beginning on Jan. 27.

“Our hope is that people will retrieve them prior to the auction,” JPD Public Safety Manager Erann Kalwara said in an email. “We don’t have much space at the impound lot, so attempt to hold them only for the mandatory amount of time prescribed by ordinance and state statute.”

Cars are impounded for a variety of reasons, Kalwara said, including abandonment, being parked in a prohibited area, being taken as part of a felony such as DUI, or other reasons. Vehicles are held for varying lengths of time, depending on the reason for their seizure.

“Some offenses require us to hold the vehicles for 72 hours prior to releasing to owners. If a vehicle is impounded for a parking issue or traffic infringement issue, it may be released that business day,” Kalwara said. “We always appreciate when owners pick up their vehicles as soon as eligible for release. If they leave them in our lot and do not pick them up, we follow a set of standard notifications before we can sell or destroy them.”

If a vehicle is involved in a case, it may have to wait for a court disposition, which can take a long time, Kalwara said. Vehicles are held for at least 50 days before they’re disposed of, so that the notifications have time to reach the owner. After that, vehicles are either sold or destroyed. JPD has a contract with Skookum Sales and Recycling to destroy the unclaimed vehicles.

“If it isn’t junked, we put it in the auction. If it doesn’t sell in the auction, we typically destroy it,” Kalwara said. “Last year we held nine auctions. One each in March, May, June, July, August, October and December and two auctions in April. We auctioned 129 cars and sold 52 in 2019.”

Want to partake?

The auction is open to members of the public who are at least 18 years old and possess a government photo ID. Prospective buyers must register on Publicsurplus.com, which will conduct the actual auction. Minimum bids for all vehicles will start at $200, and payments must be made by credit card or wire transfer. Winners will have to show up at the JPD station on 6255 Alaway Avenue with their documentation by the end of the next business day to claim and move the vehicle.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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