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Warning about buying stolen goods

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Thieves are finding it all-too-easy to sell on their stolen wares, West Yorkshire Police have warned.

Shoplifters have spoken openly to officers about how they’re able to offload goods at car boot sales or through a simple trip to the pub.

Now police are urging the public to be on their guard and think twice before buying something which may well have been snatched from a supermarket shelf or local convenience store.

Chris Joyce, Force Crime Prevention Officer for West Yorkshire Police, reminded people that if a deal seemed “too good to be true” then it probably was.

“If you know your regular perfume costs £30 when you buy it from a regular store, and someone is offering it at £5 in the pub, then you know there is something not quite right,” he said.

“The same principle applies when purchasing any items, from perfume to cosmetics or joints of meat to personal accessories.

“People might think they are getting a bargain, that it doesn’t really matter to anyone, and that the crime is ‘victimless’ – we all like legitimate bargains, but ones associated with criminal activity are obviously a different matter.”

Officers have also warned that those who buy from thieves could find themselves in court, charged with handling stolen goods – a criminal offence under the Theft Act.

If convicted, culprits could receive a fine, community order or even a custodial sentence.

As a criminal law solicitors, Lester Morrill understand that facing charges relating to a crime can be a frightening experience, especially for those who have not been in trouble before.

We also recognise the importance of seeking expert legal advice when facing criminal charges such as shoplifting or theft.

To find out how we can assist you, contact our solicitors today.

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