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PRIVATE FINANCING FOR 'STING' OPERATIONS

NCJ Number
50871
Journal
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 47 Issue: 9 Dated: (SEPTEMBER 1978) Pages: 12-15
Author(s)
J MAYS; H I PETERSON
Date Published
1978
Annotation
SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR SPECIAL POLICE FENCING OPERATIONS, SUCH AS PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS, ARE DISCUSSED, AND THE EXPERIENCE OF THE POLICE IN ROCKFORD, ILL., IN OBTAINING FUNDS IS REPORTED.
Abstract
THE ROCKFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT OBTAINED FUNDS FROM A CIVIC GROUP TO ESTABLISH THE FIRST PRIVATELY FINANCED FENCING OPERATION IN THE UNITED STATES. IN THE PAST, THE PRACTICE WAS TO SECURE FUNDS FROM THE LEAA. A STUDY CONDUCTED IN THE CITY BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S INTELLIGENCE DIVISION SHOWED THAT THERE WAS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF STOLEN PROPERTY BEING SOLD. ARRESTS WERE MADE AS EVIDENCE COULD BE OBTAINED AGAINST PERSONS IN POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY, BUT INVESTIGATIONS OF STOLEN PROPERTY CASES WERE LIMITED DUE TO THE CITY'S FINANCIAL POSTURE. THE YOUTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES BUREAU CONTACTED A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION, THE KIWANIS CLUB, AND A FENCING STORE KNOWN AS THE NEW AVON SWAP SHOP WAS OPENED IN 1977. THE PRIVATELY FUNDED FENCING OPERATION FOUND THAT STOLEN PROPERTY OFTEN WAS BROUGHT IN FOR SALE BEFORE THE BURGLARY HAD BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE. NOT POSSESSING THE STOLEN PROPERTY REPORTS, THE POLICE HAD A DIFFICULT TIME DETERMINING WHAT TO BUY. THE OPERATION OF THE STORE RESULTED IN 27 INDICTMENTS, RANGING FROM BURGLARLY TO THE POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY. OVER $50,000 WORTH OF PROPERTY WAS RECOVERED, AND 36 BUGLARIES AND THEFT CASES WERE RESOLVED IMMEDIATELY. SOME OF THE UNCLAIMED PROPERTY WAS SOLD AT PUBLIC AUCTION, WITH APPROXIMATELY $3,000 OF THE ORIGINAL INVESTMENT OF $7,900 RETURNED TO THE KIWANIS CLUB. AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THE FENCING OPERATION WAS THE COOPERATION BETWEEN POLICE OFFICERS AND CIVIC LEADERS TO IMPROVE THE COMMUNITY. PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE STORE FENCING OPERATIONS ARE PROVIDED. (DEP)