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A Herefordshire horse owner has launched a new website where victims of crime can list stolen items in a bid to beat thieves.

Angela Jefferson claims to have had more than £80,000-worth of possessions stolen over the years — from horseboxes, trailers and tack to quadbikes.

“I’ve had enough. It makes you feel so powerless,” she said. “The rural community is hit so hard. Our farm manager has now had two lorries stolen. The second was to replace the first and it was taken in broad daylight. We want to get people’s belongings back.”

The site— www.itsbeennicked.co.uk — went live two weeks ago.

Stolen items must have been reported to the police before being posted on the website, as a police incident number must be included.

It is free to list stolen property, which can be anything from horses to jewellery.

“If the site gets big enough, we hope people will check there before buying goods whose history they don’t know so thieves don’t win,” said Mrs Jefferson.

Charles Naylor from Herefordshire Police said: “It’s a good idea and, as far as I’m aware, is the first of its kind. We have registers of stolen goods for police use, but not for the public. We’re fortunate to have a fairly low equestrian crime rate in Herefordshire, but I imagine in other parts of the country it will be extremely helpful.”

Garry Porter of the UK Horsewatch Alliance added: “All crime prevention is good. But the most important thing is to make sure all your belongings are clearly marked and identifiable, so they don’t end up on the site in the first place.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (8 July, 2010)