If you buy stolen goods, you too are as guilty as the thief who stole the goods. This is the warning from police. The objectives of the Second-hand Goods Act are to regulate the business of dealers in second-hand goods and pawnbrokers, to combat trade in stolen goods and to promote ethical standards in the second-hand goods industry.The act implies that the buyer of stolen goods is as guilty as the criminal stealing the goods. In essence, any person buying stolen goods is as guilty as the person who originally stole the goods. Harsh sentences will be given to both the buyer and the thief, police say.The act also empowers police to arrest both the buyer and the thief.An unscrupulous dealer who has been found guilty of failing to comply with the provisions of the act may be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 10 years.All dealers in second-hand goods are required to report all suspicious transactions to the police, if they suspect that the seller of goods is providing false information about it or if the goods are suspected to have been stolen or tampered with.Second-hand goods dealers and pawnbrokers must not only take reasonable steps to ensure that they do not buy stolen goods or goods that have been tampered with, but they must always be vigilant when buying goods from someone, police say.