Category Archives: Crime

Norwich Police Promote Immobilise

Police in Norwich are promoting the Immobilise National Property register to help them address the issue of victims of theft not being able to accurately describe what has been stolen. They hope the scheme will help catch thieves and reunite owners of stolen property with their personal possessions.

Between September 1 to December 1, 246 pedal cycles were reported stolen in the city along with 162 mobile phones as well as other equipment like Sat Navs and iPods.

Inspector Michelle Lillie, from the University and Eaton Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), said: “We find that the main problem is when people report items as stolen they have very little details about what the property is.”

The website, www.immobilise.com allows people to upload pictures and detail information about personal property in case it is stolen.

Police then link into it when they recover stolen goods.

Insp Lillie added: “Police do recover property however because of the limited description of lost or stolen property it is difficult to match it to a previous owner making the job of proving an offence that little bit more difficult.”

“We are urging the public to help by keeping a record of all personal equipment with a serial or identifiable number and use the Immobilise registration service.”

Serial numbers are needed for goods and to register your mobile phone, you need to know your 15 digit IMEI handset number which can be found by keying in *#06# on the keypad or on a sticker underneath the battery.

For further information contact the University and Eaton SNT on 0845 456 4567 or go to www.safernorfolk.co.uk

To read the original story go to: Norwich Evening News

Don’t gift wrap Christmas for criminals

“Don’t make it is easy for thieves this Christmas” is the message being given out by Dyfed Powys Police in the run up to the festive season.

Don’t gift wrap Christmas for criminals this year – they are your presents, protect them.

At this time of year people go shopping and sometimes leave what they have bought in full view on the back seats of their car while it is parked in a car park. Or they put wrapped presents underneath Christmas tree’s in their homes in full view of people walking past in the street, said Assistant Chief Constable Nick Ingram.

These are easy targets for thieves. They know that there are likely to be high value goods in the bags or all wrapped up – don’t make it easy for them.

Dyfed Powys is a safe area to live, but it is important not to get complacent.

Also it is important to remember to register your valuables. A few years ago we encouraged people to post mark their property. This is the twenty first century equivalent. You can go online to immobilise.com and register your valuables.

If the worst happens and you are burgled, and the police recover stolen items they will search the immobilise database and return the goods to the rightful owners.

To read this article in full please go to: The Tivyside Advertiser

Youngsters urged to register new mobile phones to avoid theft

Middlesbrough Police, in conjunction with the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership and Safe in Tees Valley, are publicising a pre-Christmas message to ensure that any new mobile phone is registered is registered on the Immobilise Property system.

It is recommending that any youngsters who receive a mobile phone for Christmas take the proactive step of registering the phones details on Immobilise.

Detective Chief Inspector Shane Sellers, of Middlesbrough Police, said:

Last year 835 mobile phones were reported stolen in the district.

Registering mobile phones on the www.immobilise.com website should have an impact in reducing this figure, particularly where phones have been stolen, as the phone can very quickly be blocked on the UK network, rendering it useless to the thief.

Please note that in addition to updating your phones’ status on Immobilise (which makes the details available for police searches in realtime), any person who has lost their phone or had it stolen should contact their network provider asap to have it blocked. For details of relevant Network numbers please go to: Reporting your phone as stolen in the UK

To read the original article go to: www.gazettelive.co.uk/news

Police warning over security issues

The Ipswich Evening Star reported on Suffolk Police’s current campaign to remind to take crime prevention measures over the festive period to keep their valuables safe:

With stories every year about families having their Christmas presents stolen, the police have issued some simple measures to reduce the chances of this happening. These include not leaving shopping bags of presents in view in cars and not leaving presents, especially expensive ones, under the Christmas tree where they can be seen through a window.

People can register their valuable Christmas presents at an online database (www.immobilise.com). The serial number can be registered, which will help keep property safe and reunite stolen items with their rightful owners.

Inspector Ben Cook from the crime reduction department stresses the importance of being careful this Christmas.

He said: “Only place the packaging of gifts outside your property on the morning of your rubbish collection to avoid advertising what valuable items you have.”

“Residents should ensure they have some lights on timers during the darker evenings. Do not give thieves any opportunity to ruin Christmas.”

To read the full story please go to the Ipswich Evening Star Website

For thieves Christmas is a time for taking

For most of us Christmas is a time for giving, however as the West Midlands Police festive crime awareness campaign suggests, Christmas is also a time for taking.

Officers are launching a crime awareness initiative today (Wednesday 3 December) to put crime prevention awareness at the front of people’s minds as they prepare for the busy holiday season.

Robbery, shoplifting, vehicle crime, fraud and petty thefts traditionally rise at this time of year and people can easily fall prey to thieves as they may not be as security conscious as usual.

December’s dark nights give burglars plenty of cover to break into houses. Householders are reminded not to leave valuables and presents where they can be seen by passers by looking into the house.

The top five valuables burglars look for are:

  1. cash
  2. jewellery
  3. computers, including laptops and play stations
  4. credit and debit cards
  5. mobile phones

It is not just consumers that need to be more wary at this time of year, trades people are also urged to be wary and to proactively register items on immobilise.com:

Trades people are reminded to remove tools from their vans overnight, to postcode their equipment and register any tools with serial numbers at www.immobilise.com

The top five things stolen from vehicles are:

  1. auto accessories including hub caps, number plates and car badges
  2. audio items such as CDs
  3. car radios and CD players
  4. tools
  5. other on display items such as satellite navigation systems.

To read more please visit the West Midlands Police press site.

Croydon police Christmas theft warning

In the run up to Christmas Croydon police have issued a special warning for local residents to help them avoid being victims of crime over the festive period. In addition to registration on the Immobilise National property register many of the other suggestions made apply equally to other regions:

Some of their recommendations are:

While out shopping be aware of pickpockets and thieves, carry your handbag in front of you so sticky fingers can’t get into it.

When out and about Christmas shopping, leave carrier bags with gifts in secure and out of site in your car but make sure you stay vigilant, thieves may well watch car parks for a chance to break into them.

When at home make sure you wait until Christmas Day before putting presents around your tree, they can make a tempting display for a burglar.

Burglars like an easy life and it’s not just Christmas cards that come through your letterbox so fit a letterbox hood.

Burglars can force some sash windows, especially old ones without key operated locks. A good way to reduce the risk is by fixing a window box planter to the window ledge and fitting proper window locks.

Don’t highlight the fact that you have gifts and presents to criminals by openly displaying the empty packaging outside by your bins.

Registering your possessions on the immobilise website increases your chances of being reunited with them should they be lost or stolen and come to the notice of the police.

To read the Croydon Guardian article in full please go to: http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/…

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

South Wales Police recommend registration on Immobilise

The BBC News website has reported on a recent car crime spree in Cardiff. In addition to the usual anti theft messages South Wales Police also suggest that owners of the type of vehicles being targets should registered their radios on Immobilise to help identify thieves and return recovered property.

Ford Ka owners are being warned to be on their guard after a sharp rise in break-ins across Cardiff.

Thieves have broken into almost 90 cars since August and stolen their radios in the belief that they contain chips which can pick up free satellite TV.

Ch Insp Alun Morgan, who is responsible for auto crime in Cardiff, said: “I don’t wish to alarm car owners but as police we have a responsibility to make the public aware that Ford Kas are currently being targeted.

“My message to owners is to make sure their cars are secure, register their radio on the www.immobilise.com website and to be vigilant of anyone acting suspiciously.

To read the full BBC News Story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7755515.stm

Immobilise recommended by Knowsley bike safety campaign

Registration on Immobilise is one of the key messages from the Knowsley, Liverpool Bike Safety Campaign

Putting the brakes on bike theft is simple if you follow the advice below:-

  • Ride with your mates whenever possible, not alone.
  • Avoid taking short cuts and stay away from dark streets and alleyways.
  • Use a good bike lock which can loop through the wheels, frame or seats.
  • Record and register your bike – log onto www.immobilise.com.
  • Never leave your bike unlocked and unattended.
  • Keep your bike in a locked garage or shed when not in use.

If you think you are being offered a stolen bike, ring Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The Safer Knowsley Partnership includes Merseyside Police, Merseyside Police Authority, Knowsley Council, Knowsley Primary Care Trust, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and other partners, working with the community to reduce crime and disorder across Knowsley.

Read the full and original article.

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.