BALTIMORE (AP) _ Having all but given up hope of recovering a prayer shawl and other religious items stolen from his car, Morris Sochaccewski took the advice of a friend and looked for the items online.

Sure enough, on the online auction site eBay, he found what he was looking for: ``Beautiful Hebrew Prayer Set in 2 blue velvet pouches,'' read the description.

A few clicks and a $395 bid later, Officer Ken Driscoll arrived at the seller's home, eight blocks from Sochaccewski's house.

The woman who sold the items told police she bought them at a flea market. Police did not identify the woman, who is helping in the investigation of the October theft from Sochaccewski's car.

Kevin Pursglove, an eBay spokesman, said only a tiny fraction of the 400,000 items offered for sale on the site daily are believed to be stolen.

``Perhaps the dumbest place to try to fence stolen materials is on eBay,'' Pursglove said. ``You've got millions of eyeballs tuned into the site everyday, and most of your transactions can be traced.''

Driscoll said he used his home computer so no one would know he was a police officer. He said he started bidding at $158 and topped 36 others with the winning $395 bid.

``I didn't expect to get them back,'' Sochaccewski said. The items were recovered Nov. 23.

In addition to some stolen items, eBay's high profile has also lent itself to a number of crank proposals, including human organs.

The company employs several former prosecutors, who monitor the site and cooperate with authorities when sellers violate the site's rules, Pursglove said.