Birmingham & Black Country

Police raid West Midlands homes for stolen mobile phones

Media captionWest Midlands Police said it had targeted people suspected of making fraudulent claims for new handsets to be sold on

Police have raided houses in the West Midlands as part of an investigation into stolen mobile phones and tablets.

Smart phones, computers and documents were seized from nine properties in Sandwell and Birmingham, police said.

The force said it had targeted businesses and people suspected of making repeated fraudulent claims for new handsets, which were then sold on.

One address in Birmingham had 219 leading brand smart phones delivered to it over a two-year period, police said.

Supt Andy Parsons said: "More than 500 smart phones and devices are stolen every month in the region.

"It's important to remember that even if you buy a second-hand phone in good faith and it is stolen, you could still be arrested for handling stolen property."

Police said some of those involved were suspected of sending stolen phones, still under warranty, back to manufacturers, who then supplied new phones that were then sold on for hundreds of pounds each.

West Midlands Police said Operation Network was the first of its kind in the force area and officers would continue to target the crime.

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