TPD enforcement: Thieves selling loot at precious metal stores

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Updated: 3/06/2013 9:07 am Published: 3/05/2013 9:41 pm

A thief steals your jewelry in a burglary and even if police track down who stole it, your jewelry may already be gone. 

Now, Tulsa police burglary detectives are requiring precious metal dealers to report jewelry purchases so they can keep a closer on potential thieves.

“We are trying to use it as tool to locate stolen property,” said Tulsa Police Burglary Cpl. James Stump.

FOX23 News cameras were there on Tuesday as burglary detectives made compliance checks at area precious metal dealers reminding them of the state and local laws and a new requirement to report purchases.

Ofie Seymore came home from a burglary and all of her jewelry was gone.

“Antique probing that belonged to my grandmother’s s mother, wedding rings,” said Seymore.

Heirlooms were taken when thieves broke into Seymore’s home years ago.

“I never got them back,” said Seymore.

Tulsa Police Burglary detectives are raising awareness and stopping at precious metal dealers to remind them of state and local laws.

“Everyone is going to be on the same playing field,” said a Burglary Detective Mark Clement. 

Tulsa Municipal Code doesn’t allow precious metal dealers to melt metals or alter the piece until ten days after the purchase and must report the purchase to the Chief of Police within three days of the transaction.  

While dealers and police are keeping a record, police encourage everyone to keep a solid record.

“Someone comes in and says it has three stones in it. Well there are a lot of things that have three stones in it,” says Mike Anderson of Tulsa Gold & Silver.

They recommend you take a photograph, document a specific description such as how much the item weighed, looks, and appraised. E-mail to yourself so you will always have it. 

Also keep your jewelry in a safe or secured. 

“If they can’t sell it then they don’t try and steal it,” says Anderson.

Anderson says he likes working with police to make sure all dealers including pawn shops are on even ground. 

Police are also working to crack down on temporary dealers in town. 

“They come in, boom, two days they are out of town and there is no way to track,” says Anderson. 

Burglary detectives are also working with the city on requiring second-hand stores, not pawn shops, but stores who buy used items, to report items sold. That would require precious metal dealers, pawn shops and second-hand stores to report.

Police say each week they will inspect precious metal dealers and Pawn Shops. Any violations can be a $500 fine and up to three months in jail. 

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