Tag Archives: Selling Stolen Goods

CheckMEND leads Bristol Police to successful prosecution of stolen goods seller

Recipero’s CheckMEND service in conjunction with the Police’s NMPR system has proven to be a key tool in the identification and prosecution of crimes related to stolen goods.

On the 14th May, a man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for handling stolen goods. Alexander Smith, aged 40, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court after a two year investigation conducted by Avon and Somerset Police’s burglary team and crime reduction unit in Bristol.

Officers were able to prove that Smith had been knowingly buying stolen mobile phones by utilising an online system known as CheckMEND. This system allows members of the public to check if a mobile phone is stolen before buying it.

Police searched a shop in East Street, Bedminster and identified more than 20 phones that were stolen from victims in both burglaries and robberies, many of which had occurred in the South Bristol area. A stolen pedal cycle was also found at Smith’s home address.

During one of these incidents, a female victim positively identified her stolen phone in Smith’s shop. Smith then demanded £40 from the victim before he would return her phone.
PC Frank Simonds, from Bristol Crime Reduction Unit, said:

The use of CheckMEND technology now allows the police to prove if stolen phones are being bought and sold by second hand retailers.

We will be relentless in our pursuit of those dealing in stolen goods.

Many phones that were proven to be stolen had been registered by owners on the Immobilise database. Registering phones enables the police to return them to their rightful owners.
Members of the public can register their phone for free by visiting www.immobilise.com

Members of the public can check if a mobile phone is stolen by visiting www.checkmend.com.

Retailers can receive advice on protecting their business from handling stolen goods as part of Operation Recover run by Avon and Somerset Police.

To read the source release in full please go to: Avon & Somerset Police

Immobilise helps to solve Chiswick cycle thefts

ChiswickW4 has reported that a man who was found in possession of a bike that was stolen from Chiswick has today, Friday 4th December, been convicted at Isleworth Crown Court.

36 year old Hampsted resident Rocky Taylor was found riding a bike that had been stolen from outside Turnham Green Tube Station in November 2008.

When officers from Turnham Green Safer Neighbourhoods Team searched his flat, they found numerous cycles and parts.

Computer analysis linked Mr Taylor to numerous internet advertisements for second hand bikes. Some of these bikes turned out to be stolen from burglaries and from the street.

A lengthy investigation led to Mr Taylor being charged with several offences of being in possession of criminal property, to which he pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

Taylor was sentenced to a total of 6 months imprisonment, which was suspended for two years. As well as this, he was ordered to undertake 200 hours community work and pay £750 costs. Taylor was also prohibited from using, buying or selling cycles and cycle parts for a period of two years.

After sentencing, PS Ben Clark of Turnham Green Safer Neighbourhoods Team, told ChiswickW4.com,

What began as a simple bike theft in Chiswick led us across London and uncovered an Aladdin’s cave of bikes and bike parts.

We will continue to target cycle thieves in Chiswick, and we will endeavour to prosecute those who trade in stolen goods. It is worth noting that the cycles we were able to return to their rightful owners quickly were all registered on Immobilise.

By registering your cycle, we are able to get it back to you and it helps us to prosecute criminals, as it can help prove that the goods were stolen and not bought legitimately.

Information on immobilise can be found on www.immobilise.com

To read the source article please go to: www.chiswickw4.com

Stolen bike listed on Ebay leads to recovery and arrest

Police officers in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire have recovered a high value bicycle and returned it to its rightful owner after it was listed for sale on the online auction site Ebay.

The Marin Mount Vision 5.8 2009 model bike was stolen, along with a Hard Tail mountain bike, from a home in Hester’s Way Lane in Cheltenham between 10pm on Wednesday August 5 and 5.45am on Thursday August 6.

Annoyed by the theft of their bikes one of the owners began searching online auction sites and immediately recognised one of stolen bikes as theirs. The police were alerted and acted straight away carrying out a warrant at an address in Springbank Grove, the marin bike, which is valued at approximately £2850, was recovered and a 29-year-old man arrested.

The man was later charged with theft of a pedal cycle and bailed to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on September 18. The second bike has not yet been recovered and officers continue to work to try and locate it so that it can also be returned to its owner.

Officers are encouraging cyclists to register their bikes on www.immobilise.com, a website that allows you to create a free, private and secure portfolio of all of your personal property and adds the items to the National Mobile Property Register. If the bike, or registered item, is then lost or stolen the website can be used to tell the Police, your insurer and the second-hand trade to assist in recovering your property and catch the thief.

If you are about to purchase a second-hand bike and are unsure of the bikes history we recommend you consider checking the bikes serial number against Immobilise’s sister service CheckMEND – The Second-hand Database of Lost, Stolen and Counterfeit Goods.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen the outstanding bike is asked to contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 0845 090 1234 quoting incident number 94 of August 6. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police advise cyclists to register bike details

The Manchester Evening News has recently reported on the ongoing problem of bicycle crime. In Wythenshawe PC Steve Le Cheminant has reunited hundreds of owners with their stolen cycles, in the last six months alone, Pc Le Cheminant has seized 55 bikes and arrested 15 people for theft and handling stolen goods.

The 55-year-old officer has even personally returned bikes before they have been reported stolen, after tracking down their owners through manufacturers and retailers.

Pc Le Cheminant, who has served for 29 years, said:

It is very satisfying returning them to their owners, they can’t thank you enough.

Some will not even report them stolen because they don’t think they have a chance of seeing them again.

But police do take bike theft seriously. A lot of burglars and other criminals, especially the younger generation, use them as a way to get around.

Sometimes searches of the offenders’ properties lead to more stolen goods, drugs and weapons.

We can trace the bike owners through crime reports on the police computers, although some make it difficult by just describing say an expensive bike as ‘a blue one’.

Around 430,000 bikes are stolen in Britain each year, usually sold for anything from £10 to more than £300. Cyclists can combat bike theft by recording the serial number, taking pictures, locking them with robust device such as a D-shaped shackle, and registering them and other valuables on immobilise.com.

Of the 55 bikes seized recently in Wythenshawe, Pc Le Cheminant has managed to return 45 to their owners.

Sergeant Jane Butler said:

As the arrests of Pc Le Cheminant demonstrate, we have already had a huge success in retrieving stolen cycles and we hope to build on this.

Residents can assist the police by making sure they secure their bikes when they are leaving them, even for just a short time.

If a thief spots a chance to steal something and get away they will.

To read the source article in full please go to: Manchester Evening Post

BBC reports ‘Stolen goods’ fear in downturn

The BBC News website has reported that the economic downturn may tempt people to risk buying stolen goods.

Gwent Police said it had noticed a rise in thefts from cars in the run-up to Christmas and was concerned people may be led into making dodgy purchases.

The force is urging people to register valuables on a website so items stolen could be returned to them more easily.

It is also targeting car criminals with more patrols, “capture cars” and number plate recognition camera equipment.

Community Safety Inspector Terry Davies said:

We are concerned that the credit crunch may be leading more people to risk buying dodgy goods which could have been stolen, to save money.

Our guess is that with the type of stuff being stolen, there may be more people inclined to buy cheaper goods and perhaps ask less questions than before.

We know that lot of sat nav sytems are being stolen. They are becoming almost a necessary item to own.

What we feel is that because so many items of this type of property is being stolen, there must be more than usual market for them.

He added stolen goods were much easier to return to their owners if they had been registered on www.immobilise.com, a property register used by all the UK’s police forces.

To read the source article in full please go to the BBC News website

Gwent Police launch high-tech war on thieves

The South Wales Argus has reported that vehicle thieves and shoplifters in Gwent are being targeted by police.

Extra officers are being used this week to capture cars and use specialist number plate recognition equipment to find stolen goods and return them to their rightful owners.

Detective Inspector Peter Jones, who is leading the operation, said

This is a response to the increase in thefts from vehicles during the run-up to Christmas … We know that thieves are stealing number plates, sat navs, audio equipment like CD players and mobile phones. We also know they are selling them on and are working with second hand shops to stop that.

People can register their valuables on the specially designed Immobilise.com website so their goods can be returned if stolen.

Officers from the community safety team will also be out in January showing shoppers how to register their valuables.

Inspector Terry Davies from the team said:

We are concerned that the credit crunch may be leading more people to risk buying dodgy goods which could have been stolen, to save money.

To view the source article in full please go to: South Wales Argus Newsdesk

If you love it – register it

Greater Manchester Police is warning residents to register and property mark valuable gifts they get this Christmas so they can be returned if lost or stolen.They are advising people that:

Flat screen TVs, MP3 players, Sat Navs, laptops and mobile phones all feature heavily on letters to Santa this Christmas. Unfortunately they are also top of the most wanted lists of burglars, robbers and thieves.

By registering their valuables on www.immobilise.com owners can put details of their prized possessions on a national database that police can access and compare against items that have been found or recovered from suspected criminals.

The on-line service is totally free and is quick and easy to use. Items marked as being registered with Immobilise are less likely to be stolen, and households displaying Immobilise stickers are less likely to be targeted by burglars.

Almost any item with a serial number recovered by police can be returned to the owner if registered on the database. Users can also add photographs and certificates of ownership to their Immobilise account. Once registered users can update their account with details of new possessions, and take off items they no longer own.

A few minutes on-line can decrease the chances of your most precious possessions being stolen and increase the chances of you getting them back if they are.

To read the source press release go to: Greater Manchester Police

Cheltenham Police Urge Students To Keep Their Accommodation Secure

Gloucestershire Constabulary make some sensible recommendations for students:

Cheltenham Police are reminding students to keep their accommodation secure. The warning comes after two student homes in the town were burgled last week.

Sergeant Mark Stephens from Whaddon Safer Community Team, who are responsible for policing issues at the Francis Close Hall, Hardwicke and Pitville campuses said: “Sadly student houses are an easy target for burglaries as with several people coming and going from the property they are easily left insecure.”

“If you add up the cost of everything you own, ipod, television, bike, laptop and mobile phone, you’ll probably be surprised at the amount it comes to.

“Along with the financial ramifications of losing these items it can also be very upsetting and devastating to your university work if any of your notes were stored on the stolen items.”

In addition to registering property on the Immobilise Property Register, Cheltenham police also make these sensible suggestions:

  1. A remarkable number of burglaries occur because a window or door has been left open, so make sure you keep them closed.
  2. Do not leave cash or valuables on display in your room and make sure valuable items cannot be seen from the window.
  3. During the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays take all items of value home with you.
  4. Make sure your property is insured.
  5. Get valuables security marked.

To see the orginal article in full go to: Space – University of Gloucestershire Students Union

Check before you buy and only then you shall be rewarded

I have just been watching BBC News and one of their features was ‘Why shopping online could reward’.

The feature really focused on the fact that shoppers who like to spend their money online could also be earning at the same time and used an example from a woman who would only purchase items once she had sold a few on eBay and made a small profit.  Great example of how online shopping can really work well with the current credit crunch. However, I do wish the BBC had highlighted some of the risks involved in online shopping, like CNBC have done.

Yesterday we launched in the US and have already seen some coverage including from the Denver Post and it states we aim to curb the cybercrime of selling suspect second-hand goods. Hopefully there will be more to follow.

Anyway, hopefully the USA launch will be just as successful as the UK. According to the US Census Bureau the population of USA currently stands at 304,381,960 with:
• One birth every  7 seconds
• One death every 13 seconds
• One international migrant (net) every 29 seconds
• Net gain of one person every… 10 seconds

From the global population of internet users 27% are in the US and having read a lot of online articles and blogs e-fencing is proving to be a problem which the US are struggling to control. E-fencing laws have been discussed as being essential to combat organised retail crime. However, CheckMEND should now be an answer to their prayers, so let’s see how it goes.

This is what we do best and we have had plenty of stories from people who didn’t discover CheckMEND in time…

For example; Andrew Gudelajtis, from Mansfield, bought a Vodafone Nokia mobile phone from eBay for his wife. The phone arrived in a sealed box and was sold as being brand new, but after using it for six weeks the mobile phone stopped working.

He decided that he should use CheckMEND to check the IMEI number on its database. The search came back and identified the phone as being stolen or blocked. Unfortunately Andrew was then unable to re-trace the eBay seller and is left with a phone that doesn’t work and at the moment he is pursuing Vodafone to see if they can help – either by unblocking the phone or chasing the seller.

Hopefully he will have some luck at some point, but it is a great example of why you should use ‘CheckMEND before you buy’ or insist on sellers having a CheckMEND report. Or as I mentioned within my last post we should push for eBay to insist all sellers conduct a CheckMEND report!

Any questions – please fire them this way!

E-fencing on eBay – let’s enforce the check before you buy!

E-fencing – it’s an easy way to make fast cash and there are no regulations to stop you. BUT we can change this.

E-fencing is increasing everyday, according to CNBC , with the help of faceless online auction sites such as eBay and we need to really start looking into ways to overcome these issues. Well CheckMEND already have.

CNBC news in the USA have been really pushing the dangers consumers are facing in order to make e-fencing a more recognized problem.

The US-based National Retail Federation even went as far as to predict health problems caused by e-fencers re-selling stolen beauty products online, listing Cover Girl, Olay and RoC as the most common targets of e-fencing.
New York based Tiffany & Co has previously filed a lawsuit against eBay, and a host of other major retailers have all tried to persuade eBay and other online auction companies to combat e-fencing, but little has moved forward.

I have noticed a few online discussions by a number of cyber-crime bloggers about who is to blame and who’s responsibility it is. One I would like to highlight is, Investor Trip’s They point out the fact that eBay seem to be passing the buck. Quoting eBay’s Vice President of Trust & Safety Rob Chesnut: ‘increase theft protection at the retail level. It’s the job of these major retailers to prevent criminals from lifting their products.’

Although eBay is right, I still believe it is also the responsibility of eBay, and other online action sites, to protect their users. One simple way of doing this is to CHECKMEND IT. From our perspectives, asking all sellers to carry out a compulsory CheckMEND check would solve a lot of e-fencing problems.
Currently, there is an option to carry out a checkMEND report on eBay but it’s not compulsory. If we can persuade eBay to enforce then at least consumers will know they are shopping safely with eBay! Reassurance is all they need.

Anyway, here are some interesting snapshots of the top 10 eBay selling markets last year by rank, published on 14.05.2008 by Harris Interactive:
– Los Angeles-Long Beach, California
– 196,089 Los Angeles residents sold 24,051,645 items for a total of $1,396,037,518.
– Best-selling categories for Los Angeles sellers were cell phones and their accessories as well as clothing and accessories.
– Los Angeles sellers were also the most charitable eBay sellers last year, donating the most of any city via eBay Giving Works, eBay’s program that helps people buy and sell for a cause, turning e-commerce into a force for good.
New York

– 158,859 New York City residents sold 12,621,651 items for a total of $1,045,503,913.
– Best-selling categories for New York sellers were jewelry, gems, watches and clothing and accessories.

Chicago
172,972 Chicago residents sold 10,229,844 items for a total of $908,708,440.
Best-selling categories for Chicago sellers included toys and sports memorabilia.

Philadelphia
120,900 Philadelphia residents sold 7,069,212 items for a total of $584,383,915. Best-selling categories for Philadelphia sellers included collectibles and toys.

Dallas
85,484 Dallas residents sold 5,003,292 items for a total of $754,493,210. Best-selling categories for Dallas sellers included jewelry, gems and watches, and clothing and accessories. Dallas sellers also made more money on sales of cars and trucks than did sellers in any other top-10 U.S. seller market.
Orange County, California
75,486 Orange County residents sold 6,945,490 items for a total of $636,654,084.
Best-selling categories for Orange County sellers were auto parts and cell phones and accessories.
Washington, D.C.
112,462 D.C. residents sold 5,024,888 items for a total of $393,720,726. Best-selling categories for D.C. sellers included books and toys.
Houston
76,450 Houston residents sold 4,297,389 items for a total of $528,872,858. Best-selling categories for Houston sellers included health and beauty and collectibles.

Nassau-Suffolk, New York –
70,714 Nassau-Suffolk residents sold 5,396,880 for a total of $400,253,200. Sports memorabilia and health and beauty were best-selling categories here.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida –
39,623 Fort Lauderdale residents sold 2,838,954 items for a total of $631,845,063.
Best-selling categories for Fort Lauderdale sellers included home furnishings and auto parts.

The survey

was carried out by Harris Interactive. They also revealed that one in 10 US adults (that’s 11percent) is currently selling personal household items to generate extra cash, with the majority (59 percent) doing so via online sales

or auction sites like eBay. Additionally, 30 percent of all adults say they are likely to sell their personal or household items over the next three months to earn extra cash. Great, but are you sure they are not stolen!!!

So, lets all jump o

n the band wagon and make sure a CheckMEND check is enforced with all sales on eBay.