Police to sell off missing goods online

Reclaim stolen booty at a new police Web site

Police forces around the UK plan to put stolen goods on a Web site where they can be reclaimed by a rightful owner or auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Just months after a controversial site was launched allowing thieves to sell back stolen items to people -- www.theburglar.com -- the police have revealed details of their own initiative.

Fifteen police forces across Britain have signed up for the project which will involve e-commerce company iForce and Internet auction site eBay.

The loot that will appear on the site will include everything from expensive jewellery and electronic goods to more sentimental items of treasure that have been lost. Those behind the new project believe that it will make the process of reclaiming missing property more efficient and cost-effective.

"We think that this solution will be of great interest to any organisation which handles lost, found or stolen goods," says Matthew Peacock, group chief executive of iForce. "The potential of the Web to revolutionise traditional approaches has been somewhat forgotten in recent months as the dotcom gloom has been peddled."

The site is expected to launch early in the new year.

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