Criminals get high-tech by selling online

Sunday, June 29th 2008, 8:14 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

Selling stolen items online is a growing trend for criminals in Oklahoma City, according to authorities. The discovery of the crime for Nichols Hills Police Chief Richard Mask came after the arrest of Reginald Gaines.

Gaines was accused of more than 30 burglaries in the metro-area, and many of the items stolen landed on Web sites like Craigslist and eBay.

Gaines was arrested for the multiple burglaries and later confessed to selling the stolen goods online to make quick cash.

"Someone could steal your watch today and sell it on the streets for one-tenth of its value and then it'll be listed on Craigslist by noon the next day," Mask said.

There's little to no regulation on the Internet, unlike pawn shops in Oklahoma. State law requires anybody selling merchandise to a pawn shop to sign an affidavit stating the item in question isn't stolen. Mask said he would like to see similar regulations enforced online.

"We may very well try to sponsor some legislation that would help close that loophole so that we could at least monitor that," Mask said.

The law would then likely have an upper hand on the high-tech criminals, giving victims a chance at getting their personal property back.

Mask encourages purchasers online to ask for a proof of purchase, because if a customer is caught with stolen property, authorities will seize it.