"It's throwing sand in the wind for us to try to investigate a case," Hummel said.
The seller-identity dilemma is one U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott aims to solve with proposed legislation known as the E-fencing Enforcement Act of 2008. The bill would require operators of online auction sites to keep and disclose the contact information of any "high volume" seller whose listed items match the description of stolen goods as identified in a police report.
—Carolyn Shapiro, "Thieves turn to online auction sites to move stolen goods," The Virginian-Pilot, August 26, 2008
—John Colapinto, "Stop, Thief!," The New Yorker, September 1, 2008
There is no national database for stolen property, ... [and] law enforcement from Washington to the Mundelein Police Department say there's no way right now for a shopper to call up and check an item while the clock is ticking on an e-auction.
The Australian government thinks e-fencing is a big enough problem that it's looking into adopting such a system.
—Dave Orrick, "Some stung by e-fencers start e-probes," Chicago Daily Herald, December 14, 2005
Clarifying the law that surrounds "e-fencing" may take some time.
—Jonathan Thompson, "Psst, want your stolen goods back? Log on and pay up," The Independent (London), November 5, 2000