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NCJ Number: 67237 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: ST LOUIS COUNTY (MO) RESPONDS TO HOT GOODS
Journal: POLICE CHIEF  Volume:47  Issue:5  Dated:(MAY 1980)  Pages:45-47,69
Author(s): D KERCKHOFF; G H KLEINKNECHT
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ST. LOUIS COUNTY IN MISSOURI DEVELOPED AN ANTIFENCING UNIT THAT HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN SCRAPING THE SURFACE OF THE ENORMOUS COUNTERPART TO THEFT--THE SELLING OF STOLEN GOODS.
Abstract: THE ST. LOUIS ANTI-FENCE UNIT IS LOCATED IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S BUREAU OF CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE. AS AN UNDERCOVER OPERATION, THE UNIT AIMS SIMILARLY TO DEVELOP INFORMANT AND INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION. THE DETECTIVES SELECTED FOR THE UNIT MUST BE EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THE ENTIRE FENCING STRATA, FROM THE PROMINENT BUSINESSMAN WHO DEALS WITH PROFESSIONAL THIEVES, INTERSTATE BURGLARY, AND ORGANIZED CRIME CONNECTIONS, TO THE NOTORIOUS DRUG DEALER WHO MAKES PURCHASES FROM JUVENILES AND NARCOTICS USERS. THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY ANTI-FENCE UNIT HAS HAD SOME SUCCESS IN DEVELOPING FENCING CASES AT ALL LEVELS, ALTHOUGH MOST ARE MADE AT THE LOWER LEVEL. IN 4 YEARS, THE UNIT IDENTIFIED 550 OUTLETS, AND UNCOVERED NEARLY TWO MILLION DOLLARS IN STOLEN PROPERTY (FIGURES WHICH ONLY REPRESENT THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG). SPECIAL TRAINING HAS BEEN CONDUCTED FOR UNIT OFFICERS REGARDING SEARCH WARRANTS. OUTMODED STATUTES ON FENCING HAVE BEEN UPDATED WITH AN EVIDENTIARY BILL. MOREOVER, WITH THE HELP OF LEAA FUNDING (WHICH PARTLY FUNDED THE UNIT), THE UNIT HAS DEVELOPED PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE MULTIJURISDICTIONAL POLICE COOPERATION IN FENCING INVESTIGATIONS, AS FENCING OPERATIONS OFTEN CROSS POLICE BOUNDARIES. FINALLY, A PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN HAS EMPHASIZED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN CURTAILING FENCING TRANSACTIONS. THROUGH POSTERS, BUMPER STICKERS, AND MEDIA ADVERTISEMENTS, THE PUBLIC IS INFORMED OF COMMON OUTLETS FOR STOLEN PROPERTY. A STOLEN PROPERTY HOTLINE HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN RECOVERING $146,455 IN STOLEN PROPERTY IN ITS FIRST YEAR. NEWS PROGRAMS HAVE HELPED TO MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE THAT THE PROPERTY THEY ARE BUYING MAY BE 'HOT' AND HAS CREATED PARANOLA AMONG FENCES, WHO NO LONGER KNOW WHETHER THEIR CUSTOMER IS A LEGITIMATE BUYER OR AN UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER. IN ADDITION, TWO MAJOR NEWSPAPERS CARRY MONTHLY LISTS OF NONSERIALIZED STOLEN PROPERTY WHICH HELP PEOPLE TO LOCATE THEIR LOST VALUABLES. OVERALL, THIS REGIONAL UNIT HAS GAINED THE RESPECT OF THE PUBLIC AND OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Dealing in stolen goods; Missouri; Police-run fencing operations; Specialized police operations
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