News and Tribune

Floyd County

February 23, 2008

New Albany Police auction vehicles, bikes and more to the highest bidder

A wink or a raise of a hand secured bidders anything from a 7-wood golf club to a 1997 Ford Mustang.

One man paid $25 and walked away with a suitcase full of DVDs while others parted with a few dollars in exchange for jewelry and bicycles.

The parking lot at Workman’s Towing and Recovery, located at 35 Scribner Drive in New Albany, was full on Saturday morning, but not with cars that had been hauled in due to wrecks or repossession.

Instead, people crowded around auctioneer Barry Brewer, owner of Brewer Auction Service, as he made money for the city by pressing for every possible dollar during the New Albany Police Department Auto Auction.

The auction spread across three tow lots — Bennett’s, Wheeler’s and Workman’s — with more than 50 cars, trucks and vans being sold.

Other confiscated or repossessed items were also up for the highest bidder.

Traffic Division Director Dennis Smith said there are usually two to three auctions every year, depending on how many vehicles the police have impounded.

Every item must go and the money collected during the auction goes into the city’s general fund.

“It usually brings pretty good proceeds,” Smith said. “Auctions sometimes bring in more money than people imagine.”

The city currently utilizes the three towing services where the auctions were held Saturday for storing impounded vehicles. Smith hopes someday the city will have its own garage that he says could save money.

“We have to give the towing lots part of the proceeds to use their property to store the vehicles in,” Smith said.

Smith said that without their own garage, it’s hard for the city to tow abandoned vehicles because there is not much room to store them.

“We don’t want to fill our lots with abandoned vehicles,” Smith said. “Then we have nowhere else to put our vehicles.”

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