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Online auctions help to clean up Juneau’s junked vehicle problem

June 18, 2019 – News

Over the past six months, the Juneau Police Department (JPD) has been changing the way it conducts vehicle auctions. Traditionally, JPD has held 2-4 public outcry auctions every year. This is done to try and sell any vehicles that were impounded, but never picked up by the owner. The vehicles are impounded during a variety of different situations, such as arrests, traffic or parking violations, abandoned/junked, or even during motor vehicle crashes. Traditional auctions like this can be cumbersome and time consuming to put together. In addition to renting the space for the auction, it takes a lot of resources and staffing to hold it.

Over the past few years, the city’s impound lot has become overcrowded with impounded vehicles; many of these coming from abandoned or junked vehicles that people deposit across Juneau. Community Service Officers have been working diligently to track down offenders and either issue citations or have them take responsibility for their vehicles.

Unfortunately, as the impound lot fills up, fewer vehicles can be impounded. JPD has been looking for solutions to the overcrowding of the impound lot and one of those ideas was to begin doing online vehicle auctions. The ability to hold online auctions has allowed JPD to increase the number of auctions it holds. Currently, JPD has held five online auctions this year. These auctions have been smaller in number, but as JPD becomes more familiar with the process, staff hopes to increase the number of online auctions even more. This frees up valuable space in the city’s impound lot, allowing for officers to impound more junked vehicles that need to get off the streets.

Here is a tip on protecting yourself from contributing to the problem: When selling, trading, or even giving a vehicle away, make sure to follow the Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV) requirements for transferring ownership of a vehicle. This helps to protect you in case the vehicle you transferred ends up junked somewhere. If you didn’t follow the proper steps in transferring ownership, you might be liable for an abandoned/junked vehicle citation.

If you are the registered owner of a vehicle, and a Juneau resident, you are eligible for the CBJ junked vehicle recycling program. This CBJ program provides free vehicle disposal through Skookum Sales and Recycling, located at 1725 Anka Street.