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Stolen property

How burglars seek to dispose of stolen property.

First published
Residential burglary

Burglars need to dispose of the property they steal. They will seek to use second hand dealers, pawn shops and online markets. Investigators should consider reasonable lines of enquiry for potential outlets, using relevant powers where appropriate – for example, section 16 of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Prevention work to target the stolen goods market – using campaigns such as We Don’t Buy Crime – can reduce disposal methods and has been seen to help reduce acquisitive crime. 

If property marking initiatives are to be successful, such as forensic markers, suspected stolen property must be identified and recovered quickly. This enables investigators and CSIs to use detection equipment to identify property.

Where items are recovered, these should be routinely checked against relevant third-party databases such as the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR) and other property registers.

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