Jewelry stores fined more than $41,000 for buying suspected stolen items and not keeping records
By H. Nelson Goodson
December 4, 2009
Milwaukee - Second District police officers recovered more than 1,200 pieces of stolen gold jewelry from four South side jewelry stores after serving search warrants. Police cited the stores involved with 85 citations totaling over $41,000 in fines.
Captain Donald Gaglione said, the jewelry was stolen in burglaries between Oct. 1 and Nov. 24 throughout the Milwaukee area and then illegally purchased by gold and precious metal stores.
Gaglione credited an undercover police sting for the recovery of the stolen jewelry worth over $75,000. A tip from a suspect led officers to neighborhood stores that were buying suspected stolen jewelry. They weren't asking for identification or recording buys from individual sellers as required by law. Police went back to the jewelry stores and executed search warrants. Officers seized jewelry from Star Jewelers at 1212 W. Lincoln Ave., Cash N Gold at 1214 S. Cesar E. Chavez Dr., John's Jewelry at 1119 W. Historic Mitchell St,, and Reflections Jewelry at 1306 W. Forest Home Ave.
Gaglione said, "The items that were purchased illegally were confiscated. We have several items that we've already connected to crimes within the City of Milwaukee, and we believe some of these items may be connected to crimes in surrounding jurisdictions. We will be working to identify items taken in their jurisdictions and in surrounding suburbs."
Wisconsin law and city ordinances require stores that buy gold as scrap, to keep records of people selling them each piece of jewelry.
Officers confiscated crosses, watches, chains, rings, and bracelets, when they discovered none were legally recorded. "When these stores don't follow the rules they only encourage criminals to steal jewelry to make some quick cash. I hope that similar businesses will be more attentive to discourage criminal activity," Capt. Gaglione said.
Some people who filed a stolen report and gave a description of the stolen items have already recovered their jewelry. If victims believe that stolen jewelry could be identified in the confiscated items, they should call 414.235.6633 to make arrangements to identify it and recover it.
Recently, the Milwaukee Police Department received a grant from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance of $187,724 and it will be used to fund foot beat police patrols over time in Police District 2. "Foot beat officers work closely with the communities they police to help residents gain control of their streets," said Edward A. Flynn, Milwaukee Police Chief.
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