Saturday's inaugural police auction outside the Moraga police department was more than just cruisers and cops. The auction included three retired patrol cars, two Enduro 350 motorcycles, several bicycles, some 'costume' jewlery, and a hefty looking diving knife in its sheath.
The patrol cars were retired from the Moraga police force, as were the Enduro 350 motorcycles, but the jewelry, and knife were collected from the past several years' worth of lost-and-found and the bicycles were reclaimed after being parked for too long around town, according to Moraga Police Chief Robert Priebe.
This was the first police auction that the Moraga Police Department has undertaken, and probably will be the last for several years. Saturday's event was, well, nothing like the Antiques Roadshow.
“It was not as easy as it sounds,” Priebe admitted Monday. “We had to spray paint the doors on the cruisers black to make them legal to sell, and take off the decals from the cars and motorcycles, and with the storing and staging of all the stuff, it was a lot of work.”
The motorcycles were given to Moraga by the East Bay Regional Park District police department as part of an agreement between the two agencies that the Moraga police would use them to patrol the many trails in the area. Unfortunately, shortly after their acquisition a police officer was injured trying to activate the kick-start and they have been largely unused since. They were both sold Saturday for $500.
The auction earned about $4400 from the sale of all the items, according to Priebe. The money will be placed back into asset replacement for the police department, and the remaining $250 from other items will be placed into the Moraga general fund.
“We didn't get as many bids as we had expected,” lamented Chief Priebe. “For several months before the auction we had people coming in saying they wanted to buy cars from us, but when I called them back the interest just wasn't as strong.”
In years past, lost-and-found items have occasionally been sold to raise money for the general fund at a Moraga Police Department table during the Pear Festival, which this year was held on the same day as the auction.