Car sales keep junkers off street |

Car sales keep junkers off street

The Craig Police Department sold 28 impounded vehicles in 2005.

The vehicles, many of them broken-down junkers, fetched $4,350.26.

An average of $155 a car doesn’t seem like much, but Craig Police Sgt. Bill Leonard said the program isn’t just about making extra money for the city of Craig.

By selling abandoned vehicles — some for as little as $10 — the department keeps junk cars off city streets, Leonard said.

“A lot of them don’t need to be back on the streets,” Leonard said about the dilapidated vehicles police often find.

The impounded vehicles were abandoned or were involved in criminal cases, and the owners never claimed them.

The police department started selling impounded vehicles about a year ago because towing companies didn’t want the costs or the paperwork associated with towing abandoned vehicles, police officials said.

The department’s sale started Monday and runs through Feb. 27. The only vehicle for sale this time is a 1980 two-wheel drive Datsun pickup.

To bid, potential buyers can contact the Craig Police Department.

The money from selling impounded cars goes into the city’s general fund, Leonard said.

Buying impounded vehicles can be a bit of a crapshoot. Many of the cars don’t have keys, and the police don’t always know whether the cars will run, Leonard said.

But there is the occasional good deal.

Leonard said he sold a 1993 Lincoln Town Car for $600. The car probably was worth between $2,500 and $4,500, he said. Plus, it ran well and had keys.

“Some people get some good deals,” he said.

But with some of the clunkers, the only people who are willing to buy them are the owners of local wrecking yards, who buy the cars for $10 and crush them, Leonard said.

“We’re happy with that, too,” Leonard said, because at least the cars are off city streets.

Other people just buy the cars for the parts, he said.

Terrianne Wheeler, records technician with the police dep–artment, said the level of public interest in the cars depends on the makes and models.

If there is a four-wheel drive truck, as many as 10 people will respond. But if the only vehicle is a 1980 two-wheel drive Datsun pickup, there isn’t much interest.

As for the Datsun, nobody has called, Wheeler said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or

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