CHRISTMAS shoppers feeling the pinch this year are being warned that a so called bargain could end up costing more than they thought if the goods turn out to be stolen.
As the Christmas shopping season begins, police traditionally see an increase in shoplifting in the city centre, with goods then being sold on for presents.
Insp Mel Williams of the Chester Inner Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We usually start to see smaller goods like perfumes being stolen at this time of year and have operations in place to combat these thefts.
“However, we also want to remind people that handling Stolen goods is also a crime and anyone caught buying stolen products could face the courts themselves.
“What a lot of people don’t realise is that handling stolen goods can incur a fine or even a jail term.”
Police are encouraging would-be shoppers to ask themselves where the item has come from and why it is so cheap.
Insp Williams added: “As well as being a crime, buying stolen goods can help fund things like drugs, gun crime, burglary – all the types of problems which devastate families and communities.
“Add to that the fact that the goods you buy have no receipt or warranty, your bargain might end up being anything but. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.”
Posters spelling out the message are going up across the city to help raise awareness of the facts. They are currently appearing in places such as pubs, clubs, car boot sale sites, shopping centres, market places and police stations.