A new Indiana bill seeks to reduce jewelry theft by impeding the operation of cash for gold merchants

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May 30, 2013

Indiana

By Josh Altic

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: The Senate recently gave its stamp of approval to an already House approved bill that tries to eliminate the operations of less than reputable gold merchants in an attempt to make it harder for thieves to sell stolen jewelry.[1][2]

This bill is a response to the increase in cash-for-gold merchants due to the rise in gold prices. Often these merchants will melt down jewelry immediately after they have purchased it, making it impossible for victims of theft to reacquire their stolen property. The new law requires precious metal merchants to:

  • Verify the identity of a person from whom precious metal is purchased by use of a government issued photographic identification;
  • Take and retain a photograph of precious metal purchased by the dealer;
  • Include certain information about a seller of precious metal on the bill of sale for the purchase of the precious metal;
  • Report a description of all precious metal purchased each day to the appropriate local law enforcement agency; and
  • Hold precious metal for at least 10 calendar days after the date the precious metal is purchased, allowing the items to be inspected by a law enforcement officer in the meantime.[1]

These measures are expected to both make it harder for thieves to unload precious metals and allow law enforcement to find stolen property before it is destroyed. Co-author of the bill, Gail Riecken (D-77), stated that it was supported by large gold-buying operations worried about the image that smaller, less legitimate cash-for-gold stores were giving to the industry.[2]

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