by Kyle Swenson
Here’s a problem we’ve all had to face down at one point or another: you need a new car. The old Saturn got hauled off in a flash flood, the spot where you parked the Explorer this morning is empty except for a bunch of broken window glass — whatever happened, you need a new whip. Now, no one likes to car shop. As if the stress of such a big decision wasn’t enough on its own, you’ve got to field incoming salespeople trying to palm off screwy financing plans and payment deals. And choose a color. What about a sunroof? Spinners? Headache after headache.
For those of us who like to get their car shopping over quick and easy with a dash of competition, there is another option: Police auction. This Saturday, the Cleveland Police Department is putting 70 cars on the block.
“We’ve never had this many cars before,” Sgt Hahn of the Vehicle Custodial Unit tells Scene. The department typically does an auction three times a year, in the spring, summer and fall. Saturday’s event is at the impound lot, located at 4300 Bradley Road. Doors open at 8 a.m., rain or shine. The bidding starts at 9. Hahn says the lot is usually thick with up to 300 to 400 hungry car shoppers.
“Once it starts going, it goes pretty fast. There’s real intense bidding," he says.
Some of the items on the block once belonged to criminals busted by the police and forced by a judge to hand over their vehicles as punishment, Han explains. Others were vehicles abandoned on city streets and never reclaimed.
This auction’s crop includes some quality metal, including a 2005 Cadillac Escalade, a 2000 BMW 740, a 1999 Audi A6 and a 1997 Range Rover. The money earned at the auction will go to the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, which pays for equipment and special programs.