Brands stolen to order in new crime wave
by Gill Montia
Story link: Brands stolen to order in new crime wave
Research by criminologists commissioned by LV= claims that 5% of burglaries committed last year were carried out by criminals who steal specific brands “to order”, with the trend having increased significantly in the past five years.
Apple, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and Dell are the most commonly “ordered” brands as they can be sold on easily for a large proportion of the retail price – average going rates are: £345 for a stolen iPhone, £210 for an iPad and £160 for a games console.
Official figures show burglaries increasing by 14% in 2011, compared with a year earlier, from 651,000 to 745,000, and victims lost £1,400 worth of belongings on average.
Meanwhile, auction websites have helped expand the marketplace for stolen goods with most of the thieves who took part in the research saying they used them.
One burglar commented: “Just get a photo from the internet and put it up. Wait ‘till the orders come in and then go out and get it.”
Modern thieves also take orders from more traditional sources including markets, car boot sales and some convenience stores that take “under the counter” orders from customers in the know.
When selecting properties to target, the research found that burglars look for affluent neighbourhoods and properties that are unoccupied and can be accessed easily, without anyone seeing them.
Burglars look to see if the goods they want are on display but also go through bins for discarded packaging and receipts, as this will often reveal what is inside the home.
As well as electrical goods, modern thieves seek out high-value fashion brands such as Mui Mui, Prada and Chanel.