A man was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work for supplying articles for use in fraud on Tuesday.
The 48-year-old man is one of a number of people who have been jailed and fined after being caught by undercover police at a fake second hand shop ‘This and That’ in High Town.
Beds Police is now warning criminals that they are continuing the crackdown on those who handle stolen goods.
Det Supt Mark Tobutt said: “Through this operation we have proved that there are clearly some people who think they can make money from other peoples’ stolen possessions, but this week’s court case demonstrates that we are equally committed to catching them and bringing them to justice.”
The ‘This and That’ shop opened in June 2012 and suddenly ‘closed’ in February 2013, having ‘bought’ stolen electrical goods, identity documents, bank cards, mobile phones and driving licences which could all be sold on for a price.
The latest man to be sentenced pleaded guilty to six offences of supplying articles for use in fraud and three offences of possessing identity documents with an improper intention at Luton Crown Court.
He was given ten months in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Handling stolen goods is punishable by prison.
Det Supt Tobutt said: “It is important that the public understand that buying something that looks like a good deal makes them just as complicit. Of course it is tempting to buy cheap goods, but the real cost of your bargain is a victim of crime – it could be you or a relative whose home is broken into, it could be your child’s bike stolen or your neighbour’s car window smashed for the ‘sat nav’ inside. So the next time you’re browsing a boot fair, online auction site or offered cheap goods elsewhere, consider this. £20 for an MP3 player might seem like a great deal, and it is – but the person who it was stolen from paid a lot more.”
The definition of this offence under section 22(1) of the Theft Act 1968 is: A person handles stolen goods if knowing or believing them to be stolen goods he dishonestly receives the goods, or dishonestly undertakes or assists in their retention, removal, disposal or realisation by or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so.
This includes receiving stolen goods, arranging to receive them, undertaking the keeping, removing, disposing of or realisation of stolen goods by or for the benefit of another person, or helping with any of those things.
If you aren’t sure where the item you’re buying has come from, don’t buy it.
You can tell police where and when you saw suspicious goods for sale by calling 101 or texting information to 07786 200011.