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Stolen-Goods Markets: Methods of Disposal

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 45 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2005 Pages: 129-140
Jacqueline L. Schneider
Date Published
March 2005
12 pages
Qualitative interviews were conducted with 50 male habitual burglars and shoplifters in Great Britain to obtain information on how they marketed the stolen goods.
The interview addressed offender demographics, including drug-use history, and patterns of shoplifting and burglary, as well as the disposition of stolen goods. Findings show that the most frequently targeted item in shoplifting was clothing, notably designer jeans, jumpers, coats, and shirts; videotapes, video players, and DVD players were the next most frequently stolen items, followed by food. Other items favored for theft were household appliances and goods, CD's/CD players, and tools. Aside from food times, burglaries also targeted these items. The majority of shoplifters used handlers as their first point of sale; however, selling to friends followed closely as the second most used method of goods disposal. Trading for drugs was as frequent as selling to friends. It may be that once the option of selling to handlers is exhausted, more familiar contacts, i.e., friends or drug dealers, is the next easiest means of marketing stolen goods. These findings apply only to the area where those interviewed committed their thefts and marketed their stolen good, i.e., Shropshire, England. 3 tables and 30 references