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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91067 Find in a Library
Title: Making Inroads Into Property Crime - An Analysis of the Detroit Anti-Fencing Program
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:11  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1983)  Pages:311-327
Author(s): K A Weiner; C K Stephens; D L Besachuk
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 17
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the five phases of the Detroit anti-fencing program and concludes that although the program did not reduce property crime rates, obtain convictions on the targeted crimes other than receiving and concealing stolen property, or apprehend 'fences' as major receivers, some important successes were achieved.
Abstract: The anti-fencing program attempted to establish an undercover operation to purchase stolen goods from both fences and thieves. The initial program phase, LEAK, was a storefront operation that involved extensive physical security: the second phase (HI-ROLLER), instituted prior to the takedown of LEAK, focused on the apprehension of fences and operated from an apartment. LIFT, the third phase, which began after the takedown of LEAK and before the closing of HI-ROLLER, was a storefront operation conducted in a casual atmosphere with somewhat less physical security than LEAK. The fourth phase used both a storefront and an apartment, and the final phase used a storefront with an attached garage. The original goal of the project was to 'identify, gather evidence, arrest, and prosecute both the receiver of stolen goods (fences) and those individuals instrumental in committing major theft offenses.' Only 4 out of the 252 persons arrested were identified as major receivers, however, with the great majority of arrests being on the primary charge of receiving and concealing stolen property. Further, less than 1 percent of the charges brought were against the targeted property crimes, excluding receiving and concealing. Also, while there was some variation and fluctuation in the property crime rate for the city, the differences were negated over time. Some program successes were (1) the arrest of a large number of older offenders with prior records, (2) the arrest of 66 percent of the persons involved in transactions, (3) a low rate of dismissals and a high rate of convictions based on the original charge, (4) an impressive ratio of the value of recovered property to the operation's costs, and (5) improved law enforcement morale, interagency cooperation, and citizen confidence in the criminal justice system. Graphic and tabular data along with 10 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Crime specific countermeasures; Dealing in stolen goods; Michigan; Police-run fencing operations; Program evaluation; Theft offenses
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