September 2 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Police are starting an investigation into two mobile phone shops in Ilford and Seven Kings after they appeared in a BBC probe into the sale of stolen phones.
London Mobile Ltd, in Ilford Lane, and Ask Mobiles and Computers, in Cameron Road, were both filmed by undercover journalists appearing to buy mobiles they believed were stolen.
The BBC London footage uploaded to their website shows shop assistants paying the man in cash.
Although the Samsung S3 and iPhone 4 phones were brought legally, the BBC put messages on the screens saying they had been stolen, had them blocked by networks and put in fake contacts and messages.
An assistant from Ask Mobiles and Computers was shown giving tips to the “thief” to avoid detection.
“You’re mental man, just turn it off, they can track you,” he said.
“Always throw away the Sim.”
The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit is requesting information from the broadcaster to use in its investigation.
When the Recorder visited the shops on Monday morning they were both closed and they could not be reached by phone.
Redbridge Police runs a programme with second-hand shops urging them to be cautious when buying goods and notify them of anything suspicious.
A spokesman said 95 per cent of premises visited had signed up and it was linked to a fall in mobile phone thefts over Christmas.
In December 2013, 95 handsets were stolen in Redbridge, compared to 200 the year before.
Last year, figures revealed that around 10,000 mobiles were stolen per month in London, with half of the handsets taken being iPhones.
Members of the public are warned to be wary of cut-price items on sale. Anyone buying stolen goods can be prosecuted.
A 14-year-old girl from Chigwell, who went missing almost two weeks ago, has been found, Essex Police said.