A countywide police sweep of jewelry stores in Maryland found that 18 had violated laws designed to prevent the sale of stolen jewelry, The Baltimore Sun reports.
As part of an effort to curtail a rise in property crimes in Anne Arundel county, undercover officers found that stores did not ask for identification before purchasing precious metals, resold them before an 18-day waiting period had passed, and did not report sales to police as required by law, the newspaper reports. Several stores that are not licensed to buy jewelry also purchased items from the officers.
The jewelry store operation is part of a wide-scale effort by police to stop the fencing of stolen metal, the newspaper reports.
Officers sent jewelry dealers and pawnbrokers a letter apprising them of state laws regarding metal sales before beginning the undercover sting operation, the newspaper reports. Police returned with warrants to stores suspected of violating metal laws.
Officers seized more than 200 items worth $100,000 from B&A Pawnbrokers in Glen Burnie and are investigating whether employees knowingly received stolen property, the newspaper reports. The store did not have a pawnbroker’s license or a secondhand precious metal dealer’s license, but it had been accepting pawned items, including jewelry, police reportedly said.
The other stores face less serious allegations, and no criminal charges have been filed, the newspaper reports.