Secondhand goods dealers in Diep River are establishing a platform through which they will be able communicate with one another every day. This is to reduce the prevalence of people selling stolen goods and preventing armed robberies.
The secondhand goods dealers who have businesses in Westlake, Diep River, Southfield and Plumstead met at the Diep River Police Station last week.
Warrant Officer David Brown of Diep River police says: “We have to look out for these people as the goods they try to sell may be stolen and usually if they do not get to sell it at one place they move on to the next.”
One dealer explained a situation where a family member will, for example, sell a bicycle and later on in the day another family member will claim the bike was stolen and report it to the police.
The bike is then taken from the secondhand goods dealer and they lose out financially.
Brown says incidents like these are a regular occurrence. He says that in such a case, the bike is supposed to remain in police custody until it is presented for evidence in a court case, but if the family member withdraws the case the dealers can have the bike back.
“There are many people who try and scam secondhand dealers, but it is their duty to ensure they have the proper documentation at hand when making a deal.
Dealers are advised to insist on asking the seller to provide them with their ID, a copy can then be made and kept on record in case the item is reported stolen.
In this way, police will have the person’s personal details to follow up on.
“We strongly advise all secondhand dealers to ensure that they adhere to the law of the Secondhand Goods Act to avoid getting the short end of the stick,” he says.
Acting station commander Major Sandra Jonathan says it is important for secondhand goods dealers to share information between each other and with police, as in this way crimes can be solved by establishing links between events.
“We have to keep on communicating with one another and I call on secondhand goods dealers to attend this meeting where we share vital information and knowledge of our experiences and also to find solutions to the problems experiences by the dealers,” says Jonathan.
To share information with the police, phone (021)7107367/25 or the sector vehicle on 0825222625.