Quarter of Britons would buy stolen goods, research shows

 

A quarter of Britons would turn a blind eye to buy stolen goods if the price was right, new research shows.

One in four admitted they would break the law for a bargain and in the last year close to one in three adults (29%) came across suspected stolen items for sale at a market, pub (22%) or auction website (21%).

In a study involving more than 2,000 people, it emerged a growing number of burglars were stealing brands to order and using shops and auction websites to sell illegal goods.

According to the criminologists' research, one in 20 (5%) burglaries committed last year was carried out with the intention of finding a specific brand.

The research was undertaken by home insurer LV= and involved interviews with burglary victims and convicted thieves.

It revealed the stealing to order trend has increased in the past five years.

Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and Dell items topped the thieves' shopping lists because they could be sold on easily for a large proportion of the retail price.

The average going rate on the black market for popular items by these manufacturers are £345 for a stolen iPhone, £210 for an iPad and £160 for a games console - around half the cost of buying them new from an official retailer.

Government statistics show burglaries increased by 14% last year, from 651,000 to 745,000 in 2011, with victims losing £1,400 worth of belongings on average.

Small electronic goods are the most commonly stolen items.

One burglar told researchers: "Almost everyone I know sells moody (stolen) stuff online.

"Just get a photo from the internet and put it up.

"Wait till the orders come in and then go out and get it."

Auction websites have helped expand the marketplace for stolen goods with most of the thieves who took part in the research saying they used auction websites to sell stolen goods.

Although most online auction sites have strict rules prohibiting sellers from using them to sell stolen goods, many thieves said they got round this by having multiple seller identities.

As well as online auctions, thieves said they took orders from more traditional sources including markets and car boot sales, as well as some convenience stores who take 'under the counter' orders from customers in the know.

One burglar said he worked with a contact at a phone unlocking stall in a shopping centre who takes orders 'off the street' from willing buyers.

When selecting properties to target, unsurprisingly burglars targeted easily accessible properties in affluent neighbourhoods.

Burglars also trawled bins to garner clues from receipts and packaging.

High value fashion brands were also highly sought.

Mui Mui and Prada were the most common handbag brands that are ordered, as these can usually be bought for around a third of the cost of buying them new from an official outlet.

Designer perfumes and toiletries were also highly desirable with thieves mainly seeking out Chanel branded products, which can fetch around 23% of the official retail price.

Although handling stolen goods can result in a jail term, those who want the latest must-have brands at a fraction of the retail price are driving the trend.

John O'Roarke, LV= managing director, said: "It is not surprising that thieves are focusing on electronic gadgets, which can be easily concealed, transported and quickly sold on.

"Our own theft claims data shows a shift in recent years from larger electronic goods, such as TVs, to smaller electronic items - although the overall monetary value is the same.

"Legitimate owners must take care not to fall victim to theft by leaving goods in view from the outside of their home and should take care to dispose of receipts and packaging properly."

PA

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits