A FOUR-DAY police initiative has kicked off in Manton to warn residents against dodgy dealers in the run-up to Christmas.
Officers have been giving people the chance to have their property securty marked, as well as handing out shed alarms and security advice.
Recent crime statistics show thieves are continuing to target sheds and garages in Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood, where more isolated properties in more rural areas, often containing high-value agricultural equipment, are the most targeted.
While detectives are pursuing suspects based on available forensics and intelligence, the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are employing prevention and deterrent tactics in a bid to tackle the problem.
As part of these tactics they are urging residents to avoid entering the vicious circle perpetuated by the stolen goods market.
Acting Detective Sergeant Gary Hewson said: “You may think you are getting a ‘cushty’ deal from your local Del Boy, but if you are caught buying stolen goods you are the fool who risks jail.”
“In these tough economic times we all love a good bargain, especially as we approach Christmas, but the deals you get from the person up the road or in the back room at your local pub are most likely to be goods stolen from your neighbours.”
He added: “This ‘no questions asked’ approach to shopping is not only damaging your community, but could land you in serious trouble with the law.”
“Those convicted of handling stolen goods can face up to seven years in jail, eviction from their homes and even seizure of their assets.”
“Let’s not mince words here. If you are found guilty of buying stolen goods, this time next year you won’t be a millionaire, you’ll be in jail.”
There has been a 56 per cent increase in shed and garage burglaries in the area compared to the same period last year. That accounts for five more victims and it is an increase that police are working to reverse.
The action is being run as part of Operation Fagin, a Force-wide policing and crime prevention strategy to reduce the market for stolen goods.
DS Hewson said: “We need help from the public to close down the market for stolen goods so that thieves no longer find it profitable to steal in the first place.”
“But in the meantime we are encouraging residents to protect their property by properly securing their sheds and garages and the property they keep inside them.”
Install a security light to your garden, make sure your sheds and garages are secured with a strong lock and hinges, and chain valuable items such as bicycles and tools together.
Security mark your property. If it is stolen and recovered, police will be able to trace it back to you.
Also, a thief will think twice about stealing something that is visibly marked with someone else’s details as it makes it much more difficult to sell on the stolen goods market.
If you have received an unsolicited approach to buy goods you think may be stolen, or are aware of any illegal operations of this nature in your community phone the police.
Anyone with any information should contact Notts Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.