Many thieves and fences sell their stolen goods through second hand websites. If you buy something from such a site, always check the serial number, IMEI number (for a phone) or other unique properties before actually ordering. Most websites encourage this, by the way.
If the item was registered on Spotty.eu and reported stolen, you’ll see this on Google, even if the thief has removed the Spotty sticker. But what to do if you discover the item was stolen, after purchasing it?
You’ve bought the item in good faith.
Report it to the police and to the website where you’ve purchased it. This has several advantages:
- The item is clearly traceable! If you don’t report it now, you risk being accused of theft yourself at some point in time. If you have reported it, you’re safe when someone else (e.g. a repair service) discovers that it’s stolen property.
- In some countries(you can check this for your country), you remain the rightful owner of a stolen item that you’ve purchased in good faith. In this case, you have nothing to lose when reporting it, well on the contrary!
- The thief and fence will be caught and will soon learn that they’d better not touch property marked with a Spotty code.
Bought for an impossibly low price?
If you’ve purchased the item at a price that should have made you suspect that it was stolen property, it’s more difficult to go to the police. But you might just have been naive. You could discretely inquire how to proceed, probably you’ll just get off a warning.
Don’t want to go to the police anyway?
Still, you can better avoid being caught with stolen goods later on. Demand from the seller to get your money and shipping costs back, may even with a bonus for the inconvenience. Tell him or her that you’ll go to the police if they refuse.
Also that will teach them to leave products with a Spotty sticker alone. And your problem is solved.
You can also register your own goods on Spotty.eu and mark them with a Spotty sticker. This will show thieves that they better keep their hands off your property (which you'll get it back in case of loss, too).