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Operation Switch targets Gloucester's burglary black market

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 30, 2013

GloucestershireConstabulary

GloucestershireConstabulary

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DISRUPTING the black market for stolen goods is the latest stage of Operation Switch - as police change tactics in their city wide anti-burglary campaign.

Criminals are looking to offload their burglary haul as quickly as possible.

That means stolen goods are being offered up at cheap prices, often without packaging and instruction manuals in pubs, car boot sales and from the back of vans.

Smaller, mass produced electrical items are the most common to be passed on, with phones, laptops and mountain bikes top of a burglar’s wish list.

Sergeant Jon Testar, said: “These items are often sold word of mouth. Our message is if the price seems too good to be true, they are probably stolen.

“People need to be aware there are serious implications for handling stolen property. They should think long and hard before snapping up what they think is a bargain and ask the question - could it be stolen?

“Items for sale have usually been stolen recently and locally.

“At the end of every cheap sale of stolen property, there is a victim of crime.

“We want people to be reporting any suspicious sale activity to us.

“We want to know how and when it was transported and where it was sold.

“By disrupting the stolen goods sales market, we can disrupt burglaries.”

Police are advising people to mark up easily transportable goods of high value with a Ultra Violet pen. They are a cheap and easy option to help police return stolen items to their rightful owners.

Frame numbers of bikes and serial numbers of electrical items can also be recorded to help keep property safe.

SmartWater is also proving a valuable tool in disrupting criminal activity and the sell on market.

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