Selling stolen mobile phones 'no longer an option in Bolton', police say
SELLING stolen mobile phones in Bolton is “simply not an option” police have warned.
Police have been clamping down on stolen mobiles being bought and sold on in shops across the borough.
Their checks have helped them track phones taken during burglaries and have led to criminals being arrested for theft.
Before buying phones, the shop assistant is required to obtain a number of details including a copy of formal identification and the person’s name and address and the phone’s unique 15 digit IMEI number.
PCSO Jenny Rainford, who works for Bolton Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, is responsible for phone shops in the Daubhill area.
She makes weekly checks of each store’s record books in a bid to detect any criminality.
PCSO Rainford said: “The message to people is don’t bother bringing stolen mobile phones into Bolton because you will be found out.
“Stores check whether phones have been blocked via CheckMEND, a website, and if they come back as being blocked they won’t be bought. If the stores don’t speak to the police about the reasons the phone has been blocked they might find the phone has been stolen. Doing the checks helps the shopkeeper avoid ending up out of pocket and helps the police.”
She said upon looking at the background of a blocked phone she discovered it had been taken during a burglary in Wigan.
A prolific offender was charged in relation to a phone theft after officers were able to trace a stolen mobile back to his home via an app downloaded by the owner.
Police can trace the history of phones via a national mobile phone register and discover whether phones are blocked for non-payment, or due to it being lost or stolen, and whether insurance claims have been made previously by the person registered.
She said: “The reason for me going into the stores is to look for stolen property. Working with the stores we are able to get all of the necessary information. Shopkeepers can get in trouble for buying blocked phones if they are stolen and they are sold on.”
Ishak Patel, manager of Fone Warehouse in St Helens Road, Daubhill, said: “We help the police by filling in a form when people come in to sell phones. We keep records of the seller’s identification and take down the phone’s IMEI number.”
People can register their property at immobilise.com to prevent theft.
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