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Stole Goods at swap meets <question>

Offline Alias

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Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« on: May 06, 2012, 04:42:24 PM »
Just courious on trends from around the country.
This swap I go to has a long history. Was sold to current owner due to being confiscated by authorities.
Last owner was involved in organized crime (allegedly) and new owner has been investigated but not charged.
Swap has been frequently raided and focas of sting operations by local and state police. As well as ATF and FBI for individual vendors, not the swap as a whole.
There is a great deal of vendors selling "shop lifted goods" like allergy meds, high end shampoo....
Lots of car stereo's and lawn equipment.
Easily stolen, easily sold goods.

Even some stalls I assume were "fell off a truck" stuff.  Tho possible they buy wholesale...?

Police frequently go by stalls and run serial numbers and anything that is missing number or number is altered/scratched will be confiscated and you have to go to court to claim it.

To the question....
Obviously swaps are a great place to sell stolen goods. Been going on for decades.
Just wondering how open it is in your neck of the woods?
And do your authorities take action?

Just started attending this swap and was amazed at how obvious and open

Offline Cobia

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Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 07:02:14 PM »
ummm, Alias, this is an open forum, I don't think any of the sellers here want to say anything like "yea the flea I sell at, ***** flea in Anytown, USA is full of great stolen merchandise!"

I will just say I have never seen the storm troopers sweep our flea looking for droids, but they could be hidding out there.  ;)

Offline Alias

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Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 07:20:18 PM »
You busted me.
I'm really ATF looking for leads......    :-\

Offline MovieMan

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Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 07:39:41 PM »
A few years ago the administrators of the flea market where I sell "cracked down" on the sale of used VHS and DVDs.

They had some insane logic that was their way of preventing any counterfeit tapes/dvds from being sold. Basically they were saying "If we don't allow ANY to be sold we are in no danger of counterfeits being sold." Gotta love administrators.

We all ignored it and they had to fold, but they did start looking for counterfeits.  I turned one guy in. He was selling NEW titles (still in the theatres even, not released yet on DVD). He was getting $5 per title.  I didn't mess around with the local admins. I went straight to the MPAA which had a way of contacting them on their website.

Since the guy was a RESERVED seller he was in the same spot every weekend. About a month later the local PD and a rep from MPAA bought some counterfeits from this guy, confiscated everything !  That copyright law (as I understand it; I am not a lawyer) allows any of the "proceeds" as well to be confiscated..trucks, tvs, houses, you name it. It's serious business.

That ended that. At another flea in town I heard the Mexican vendors who were doing this also got "raided" and they were running down the aisles in droves (maybe illegals as well).


Then I saw one customer bring the local PD to a booth and clearly identified goods stolen from him (and weeks ago reported to the PD). Who knows if the flea seller had received them from someone else (innocently), but the goods all went away and I don't know what happened to the seller.

So, it happens.

Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 07:57:43 PM »
Well the main flea I sell in has a cop there every weekend.  He "patrols" for counterfit goods and things.  The biggest concern I've had at the flea is watching out for counterfit money.  About once or twice a year they come over the speaker telling all vendors to watch for counterfits.  Many times it's joe blow printing some $20s off on his home computer type thing.  Easy to spot if you know just a bit about currency.  A few times we have had higher end fakes that it would take the marker to check.

Now, the flea 1 mile away up the road is a different story.  I've heard all sorts of stories out of it.  I've even seen people selling bootleg CDs at their booths.  I quickly walk away.  I don't agree with many of the copyright activities or laws, but I sure don't condone it.

I myself toss every copy/fake CD and DVD that I fine.  I've yet to find anything worth checking with the police on.  Guns, high end bikes, etc. I'll run the serial # past the cops on.  I have to get some of those in a unit first.  I always worry about stolen items, drugs, etc.  Is why I take pictures of a unit before I move it, keep my records, and try to play it safe.

Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 05:20:31 PM »
My father in law retired from the Marshal service and part of his extra curricular activities was raiding the Nashville Flea (the big one at the fairgrounds). He'd tell us that we don't know him if we see him there. They would go in, buy something from a suspected person and then have it validated onsite. After they were done shopping all the vendors they would sting all of the bootlegging vendors at once and shut the booth down and take everything there. He said every time they raided (maybe twice a year) they would shut down 5 - 10 vendors. So yeah, it happens everywhere and with more items than you would imagine. His group mostly looked for designer items like jackets, purses, jeans, shoes, sunglasses and watches. He said other groups would look for things like rugs, tools, toys, even furniture! A whole other group looked for stolen items. He said at any given time there were at least 25-30 undercover buyers from various agencies running around. He said the biggest give away that someone is bootlegging is that they have a lot of one type of thing like a booth full of designer Coach purses or the sunglass guy with dozens of Ray-Ban and Oakley or cases and cases of Tag watches. The ones selling 3-4 watches and then pans and some jeans and an old lawn chair, they were usually safe.

Offline Alias300

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Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 07:25:27 PM »
We don't have much counterfeit goods. Ours is mostly lawn equipment and anything you would store in your car.
The most obvious is the shoplifted goods. Crew, Aveno, Nivea...all for $2-$4.  Axe body spray for $1.

There was even a Dateline investigation on the shoplifting along the I-5 corridor for organized crime groups. Pay people to shoplift certain goods than sell at swap meets and eBay. All the grocery stores, walmarts and the like that are right off the freeway have a way higher loss rate than those farther away from freeway on ramps.

Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 11:16:52 PM »
Paraphrasing the old saying:

"Sell it like you stole it!!"   8)

Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 10:53:20 AM »
I sometimes sell at the flea market local to me, and while there are a lot of good people who sell, there is a lot of shady activity going on as well. You'll see people walk up to vendors with bags of merchandise, brand new lysol/smell good products, bed sheets, games etc. You almost know the stuff is being stolen. Theres even still a guy who sells bootleg movies, he just carrys a notebook around and will only show you if your a repeat customer/knows he can 'trust' you.

However I am so focused on making my own money, I could care less about any of it.

Re: Stole Goods at swap meets <question>
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 09:34:32 PM »
Honestly (irony incoming) I'd risk selling bootleg movies if the consequences weren't so damn high! But for 5.00 I'm going to risk 10yrs prison and hundreds of thousands in fines? Negative.

That's the one thing the MPAA, Studios and the SAG have done right in this whole digital nightmare that has become their Achilles heel.

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