Deals to be had at police auction |

Deals to be had at police auction

Tim Mutrie

A gold ring said to be set with a handsome diamond, at least according to auctioneers, fetched an auction-high price of $275 yesterday during the Aspen Police Department’s biannual sale of unclaimed property.

The ring, which the eventual buyer proclaimed she intended to return to its rightful owner at the outset of bidding, was first offered for a modest price. Though keen interest in the piece – perhaps fueled by the buyer’s sentimental appeal to the crowd – rapidly drove up the sale price.

More than a hundred bargain hunters gathered outside the basement of the Pitkin County Jail yesterday – to bake in the midday sun during their lunch hour and to bid on dozens of items, including bikes, computers, cell phones and other technological gadgets, as well as clothing and cookware.

While no exact figures were available yesterday, it’s estimated that the auction raised more than $3,000 for the general funds of the city of Aspen and Pitkin County.

A variety of bikes – 10-speeds, mountain, cruisers and town bikes – were sold off first, fetching prices from $20 to the $175 commanded by a GT mountain bike.

The bike’s pleased new owner later commented, “Man, I just took this thing around the block and it’s great. I just need to get a new cable for the derailleur, that’s it.”

More than two-dozen Gateway 2000

computers – the old machines used in city and county offices – were sold off for as much as $250 and as little as $30 or so. A lap-top computer that came with a word of caution from the auctioneer, commanded a fairly large sum.

“Beware,” the auctioneer warned. “Its battery is shot, the built-in mouse is sketchy, and it has a virus; basically it’s a piece of s#%@!”

Several bidders offered a dollar for the machine, but when it finally sold for $55, one man said with a laugh, “It sold for $55 more than it should have.”

One computer aficionado scooped up more than a dozen dated machines for under five bucks.

On Saturday, May 20 at 9:30 a.m., the Aspen Police Department will hold its abandoned vehicle/tire auction at the Pitkin County Landfill, located about nine miles west of Aspen off of Highway 82. More than 35 cars and trucks will be on the auction block, as will a Honda motorcycle and a Stow Manufacturing cement mixer.

The main dump gate will open at 9 a.m. May 20, to allow prospective buyers to inspect the vehicles, however buyers will not be allowed to attempt to start the vehicles, or work on them, until payment is made.

More than 40 tires will be auctioned off before bidding begins on the vehicles. For additional auction information, contact the Aspen Police Department at 920-5400.

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