Two retail jewelers in Watsonville, Calif., are facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly purchasing secondhand jewelry without proper licensing or crime-prevention procedures, according to the Register-Pajaronian newspaper.
Both jewelers have been ordered to appear in court to answer for their failure to comply with state and city standards, the newspaper reports. One acknowledges having bought jewelry for some 14 years, ostensibly unaware that in addition to a business license, state law requires jewelers to have a secondhand or pawn license in order to buy used goods.
The enforcement effort began in late 2007, when police say a series of complaints prompted them to issue a warning letter to all jewelry dealers and launch an undercover investigation, the newspaper reports.
Police said they sent the letter to 25 merchants, advising them of the licensing law and their need to comply with it if they were buying or pawning secondhand items, the newspaper reports. The crackdown served to educate local businesses about laws known as the California Business and Professions Code and the city’s obligation to uphold them, officials say.