Tag Archives: Stolen Goods

If you love it, log it! South Yorkshire police promote immobilise

South Yorkshire Police are advising people: ‘If you love it, log it’.

In a countywide crackdown on theft and burglary, police are urging people to log their expensive Christmas presents and any other precious belongings on immobilise.com – the world’s largest FREE register of ownership details.

In a time when police resources are getting ever more stretched, the police are looking to focus their efforts on crime prevention, with this campaign aimed at preventing thefts happening in the first place – a more efficient way of protecting the public.

And in addition to acting as a major deterrent to criminals, the big difference with Immobilise is that as well as getting your stuff back if it’s lost or stolen, the system helps to catch the thieves as well!

The database is linked directly to police systems, so when officers recover any property, for whatever reason, they can check it against items logged on Immobilise. For example, if someone arrested on suspicion of drunk and disorderly has your stolen mobile phone in their pocket, police will also be able to link the theft to them as well – but only if it’s registered!

Any item can be registered on immobilise. The easiest items to log are electricals, or anything that has a serial number, but you can even log jewellery or ornamental items using the photo upload and description functions. You can register as many items as you like, and then if they are lost or stolen you simply log back on to register them as such. The police can check any property they recover, whether that’s when a person is brought into custody for any reason, property recovered from criminals in raids, or even during one of their now routine checks on second-hand dealers. And if they find anything that is listed as stolen, not only will you get your belongings back, but the thieves can be brought to justice.

Chief Superintendent Bill Hotchkiss said:

Part of policing involves stopping crime happening in the first place. The public can play a huge part in this by protecting their property with Immobilise, making items easier to identify and less attractive to thieves.

We want to send a clear message to those potential thieves that anything logged on Immobilise is too hot to handle. As a member of the South Yorkshire public, by registering your property, and marking it as such, you are much less likely to become a victim of crime.

To support the campaign, police are distributing packs to the public to make the process even easier. These include a selection of stickers to mark all your items as logged, so as to deter criminals, and an information leaflet to explain the process. The packs are available from your local police stations in South Yorkshire or from South Yorkshire branches of Curries, Dixons and PC World. In addition, safer neighbourhood team officers will be out and about in public places offering packs and advice to members of the public.

Visit www.immobilise.com to get started.

More details can be found at www.southyorks.police.uk

Registered mobile phone results in arrest for South Yorkshire Police

South Yorkshire Police have reported that a stolen mobile phone that had been registered on the national UK database, Immobilise has resulted in the arrest of a man in Doncaster.
A Twenty five year old man was arrested on Tuesday, 28 September for being drunk and disorderly in the Town Centre.

He was brought into the police station by Acting Police Sergeant Sharon Wood and PC Steve Roberts from the Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team. They checked his mobile phone against the Immobilise database and it was identified as being stolen. He admitted he had stolen the phone from a pub in Thorne last year, which when they checked had been reported to the police at this time. He was charged with theft and drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Police are hoping this result will encourage more people to register their belongings with Immobilise. It is the UK’s national property register, which allows people to create secure and private portfolios online for their personal property.

It is not just phones that can be registered any belongings that have a serial number including electrical items such as televisions and cameras can all be registered.

Inspector Jakki Hardy said:

We hope this result will encourage people to register their property on the Immobilise database. If this phone hadn’t been registered it would have been very difficult to know it was stolen and reunite it with the owner.

Police officers in Doncaster have also been targeting shops across Doncaster including CEX, Cash Generator and small mobile phone shops to check for any stolen mobile phones. Officers use scanners to scan the barcode on the back of the phones, which retrieves data from the IMEI number, and states if the phone is lost, stolen or blocked.

Inspector Jakki Hardy added:

Registering goods also acts as a deterrent to opportunistic thieves as they are unable to sell stolen property as easily if it has been registered. We will continue to do these checks and identify any stolen property.

To read the source story in full please go to: South Yorkshire Police

CheckMEND officially adopted by phone recycling industry and Home Office code of practice

Today July 23rd it was officially agreed that CheckMEND would be the first approved due diligence service to be used and officially endorsed under a new Home Office/recycling industry code of practice.

The signing of the new code of practice by over 90% of the mobile phone recycling industry means that for the first time there are agreed guidelines for the checking of handsets offered for sale to the industry and this includes using the CheckMEND service to check the National Mobile Phone/Property Register.

Adrian Portlock CEO of Recipero the operator of CheckMEND said:

This is a major step forward for the industry and CheckMEND and we are really pleased the industry has recognised their responsibilities in checking products they are buying, this model needs to be extended to all handlers of used goods and retailers taking trade ins and we will be pushing for this to be the case, but this is an excellent start.

For more information please see the following sites:

Boston Police Trial the new CheckMEND service in USA

Boston Police have today (30th June 2010) agreed to a 30 day trial of the new CheckMEND service in the USA prior to it going live with all pawn and second-hand dealers in their jurisdiction. If the trial is successful Recipero see this as a very exciting opportunity to extend the service to every US law enforcement agency to create a national free transaction submission and Police checking service.

Unlike Europe second hand dealers and pawnbrokers in the US have to supply details of transactions to their local law enforcement agencies so CheckMEND has widened its remit to include this in the process of running a due diligence check. At the same time Recipero, the owner of CheckMEND, has rewritten its US NMPR platform so free of charge US law enforcement will be able to view CheckMEND transaction data via the US NMPR as well as being able to match the data with crime reports provided to the NMPR (via the Trace Checker system) from over 18,000 US law enforcement agencies.

Ken Bouche who leads business development for CheckMEND and Trace Checker in the US said:

This is the culmination of over 2 years work to allow traders and pawn brokers to supply for free transaction data to an online database that can be checked also free of charge by the Police. Bolting on the stolen data from Trace Checker which Recipero took over late in 2009 is inspired and provides a whole new service for the trade to ensure they are not buying stolen or dubious goods that have been reported as stolen to their local law enforcement agency. If the service grows to be as popular in the US as it is in Europe this will be a very significant step for forward for everyone involved

For more information please contact us: www.recipero.com/contact

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 police reunite 250 items of recovered property with their owners

Property Marking EventPolice in Avon and Somerset yesterday (Thursday December 17) held their latest “Relentless” day, focussing on the prevention of theft and burglary.

There have been 26 Operation Relentless “days of action” since its launch in June 2005, which has resulted in more than 2150 arrests.

“Operation Relentless on Property” has targeted thieves and those who handle stolen goods in addition to highlighting crime prevention initiatives to the public to foil burglars and other criminals.

As part of the day of action, police and partner agencies engaged in a range of activities across Somerset. A warrant was carried out in the Taunton area leading to the arrest of a man for handling stolen goods. Vulnerable Vehicle Checks were carried out across the area, inspecting vehicles and identifying those with items of value left on display. The owners of the cars have been sent a letter reminding them to keep items such as phones, MP3s and Satellite Navigation Systems out of sight.

Officers also visited several second hand goods retailers with Trading Standards to ensure that they were complying with regulations and not trading in stolen items. Six arrests were made during the course of the morning. Five men were arrested for theft and another man was arrested for handling stolen goods. Four have been given bail pending further enquiries.

Officers from the district’s CID department also managed to reunite 250 items of detained property with their rightful owners this week.

Detective Inspector Alan West said:

When police receive items of property that have been recovered from thefts and burglaries, officers try to trace the owners of the items to return their possessions to them. If electrical items are registered on Immobilise and other items such as jewellery or antiques are property marked with the owners address or postcode, this process can be straightforward.

However, unmarked or unregistered items can languish in the Detained Property Department unclaimed for long periods and some items can never be linked to an owner. I would really encourage the public to either register their items on Immobilise or mark them with a UV pen or other property marking device so we can return them to you if the worst were to happen. Marking your items can also sometimes act as a deterrent to would be criminals.

Neighbourhood officers and PCSOs were also in Taunton town centre this morning registering people’s property, such as mobile phones, cameras and mp3 players, on the Immobilise website and carrying out bike and property marking. The Deputy Chief Constable, Rob Beckley, joined them in giving festive advice on how to beat the burglars and assisted with a bicycle property marking session. The team will be in the town centre again on January 13 and 21 offering these services for those who had new bikes or electronic equipment for Christmas.

In Bridgwater, officers held a property marking session at Bridgwater College for the students to register mobile phones and laptops on the Immobilise website and officers from Burnham-on-Sea visited King Alfred School in Highbridge and Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar to take property marking kits to mark and record mobile phones and MP3 players. Other property marking sessions also took place in Wellington Square in Minehead and the Town Hall in Dulverton.

DCC Beckley said:

We really want people to have a wonderful Christmas and New Year but we ask them to take some sensible measures to ensure that their festive period isn’t marred by becoming a victim of opportunistic thieves. One-in-four burglaries occur after the householder failed to secure their home and the burglar entered the property via an open door or window!

I encourage people to think about how their house looks when they go out – don’t make it obvious that there is nobody home, leave a light on and the radio playing and most importantly – make sure you lock all doors and windows, even if you are only popping out for a short period of time.

Inspector Nick Greenhalgh from the Community Safety team at Taunton Police Station said people can help protect themselves from opportunistic thieves by employing these simple measures:

  • Ensure windows and doors are shut and locked when you are out
  • Lock sheds and garages
  • Don’t leave car keys left in an outside porch or within reach of letter boxes
  • Shoppers are advised not to leave presents in view on car seats. They should be taken home immediately and not left in the vehicle.
  • Christmas presents – wrapped or unwrapped – should not be left in view in the home.
  • Don’t leave boxes from new TVs or laptops on display outside your home, take them to the tip.
  • Register your property on www.immobilise.com
  • Mark your property – kits are available from your local police teams.

Further information regarding home security and crime prevention can be obtained from your local Safer Stronger Neighbourhood team. You can contact them by calling 0845 456 7000 or you can log on to our website www.avonandsomerset.police.uk and select the Crime Prevention heading.

To read the source article in full please go to: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/LocalPages/NewsDetails.aspx?nsid=18923&t=1&lid=5

Police give seasonal safety advice during community safety day

Police give seasonal safety adviceThe Wincanton neighbourhood policing team has been out delivering festive message to its residents

More than 450 homes were visited by the team who spoke to residents about what steps to take to take for a crime-free Christmas. People at home were reminded not to tempt thieves by keeping presents out of sight, making sure their house is secure and that empty houses looked occupied by leaving a television or radio on and using timer switches on lights.

The day of activity, on Wednesday 9 December, was undertaken in partnership with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service who spoke to residents about fire prevention this winter. Residents were asked to ensure smoke alarms were fitted and working, reminded not to overload power sockets and advised to check their Christmas tree lights before putting them up.

Where there was no answer at houses an advice leaflet was posted through its door.

The event was organised by Police Constable Sara Stephenson, the beat manager for Bruton. Speaking afterwards, Sara said:

Christmas is a special time for people to relax and enjoy spending time with family and friends. Becoming a victim of crime at Christmas can spoil the festive period so we have been out reminding people how to avoid being targeted this year. The message was well received by the residents we spoke to and I am confident most will act on the advice we gave.

Top tips for staying safe:

  • Lock up and set the alarm in the evening as well as when you go out
  • Seem in when you’re out by setting a timer switch to turn the lights on at dusk
  • Post code your valuables and register them for free at www.immobilise.com – it could help convict a burglar and return your property
  • Keep your keys and handbag or wallet hidden safely out of sight
  • Don’t advertise your property to thieves: hide Christmas presents and don’t put boxes out for rubbish collection, bag them first
  • Join or set up Neighbourhood Watch
  • Call police immediately if you see anything you think is suspicious
  • Make sure ladders and tools are secured otherwise a thief could use them to break into your home.

To view the source article please go to: Avon and Somerset Police Website

Operation Twilight – Leave a light on this winter!

With autumn now upon us and the nights drawing in, Sussex Police are encouraging residents to leave a light on this winter.

Leaving your home during hours of darkness, without putting a light on or drawing the curtains, is an open invitation to the opportunist criminal that there is no-one at home.

This simple message is one of the key themes of this year’s “Operation Twilight” campaign – which offers valuable advice on how to go about ensuring burglars are left in the dark during the winter months.

Dennis Donovan, Force Crime Prevention Officer from the Community Safety Branch said:

It sounds simple advice, but when it is dark outside people don’t always think to draw their curtains or leave a light on if they are going to be out.

To the opportunist burglar, it is almost an invite. A house that is in darkness is the easiest target as no-one is likely to be home. It doesn’t take long for a burglar to get inside and steal property, particularly things that are easy to sell such as televisions, videos, computers, jewellery and antiques.

Unfortunately, every year sees a spate of early evening burglaries associated with the clocks going back and Sussex Police will be distributing Operation Twilight flyers throughout the Force area.

Between January 1st and the end of July 2006 the number of burglaries in Sussex had reduced by 21%, meaning 1,388 fewer victims in real terms. This is the biggest year-on-year percentage reduction for more than a decade and Sussex Police want to ensure this success continues.

In addition to regististering property on the Immobilise Property Register, the Sussex Police website also provides a good checklist of actions to consider to make your home more secure this winter. To view them please go to the Sussex Police website where the source news story can be read in full:

http://www.sussex.police.uk/operations/op_twilight.asp

Portable scanners crack down on phone thieves

The News Shopper in Bromley has reported that thieves are facing instant detection on the streets after the borough’s police became the first in London to purchase portable scanners.

The handheld device scans the IMEI barcode inside the back of a mobile phone and checks it against the national property register to see if it is registered as stolen.

It can also be used to check mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players and bikes, and for phones where the barcode is not easily accessable officers can simply key in the IMEI number (accessable on all phones by keying *#06#) directly into the device.

Borough commander Chief Superintendent Charles Griggs said:

The operation is one of many throughout the year where we focus on the safety of the travelling public and tackling crime and disorder on public transport.

What is different is the use of Apollo. As a portable handheld solution Apollo offers my officers remote access to the national mobile phone register whether out in the field or in the custody suite and gives us the opportunity to quickly identify stolen property.

Bromley police is encouraging everyone to register with the secure national property register at immobilise.com.

This will help the police to identify items and return them to their owners if they get lost or stolen.

Anyone with information about robbery in Bromley should call the police on 01689 891212 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To read the source article in full please go to: The News Shopper

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.