Burlington City Police crackdown on stolen jewelry sales

March 17, 2013 6:10:08 AM PDT
Police in Burlington County are working with pawn shops to ensure that thieves aren't making money off stolen jewelry.

When someone sells a piece of jewelry to Moses Gold Exchange on High Street, pawn shop owner Moses Sorasky is obligated by local ordinance to keep a record of the transaction - including identification from the seller.

"Everything by the book. Gotta have an ID. If somebody comes in with no ID, I just don't buy it. If the thing is stolen I'm gonna get in trouble if I get it with no ID," said Sorasky.

Sorasky also scans a picture of the item and sends it to the Burlington City Police Department, who have now started posting images of the jewelry on their website.

"We're trying to put the information out to the residents, to our citizens not only in Burlington City but anybody can visit our website and look at these photographs. Whether it was stolen, whether it was lost, we're just trying to reunite the property with that owner," said Det. Wayne Comegno.

Posting the images on the police website is an easy way for crime victims, or those who may have lost jewelry, to check and see if someone is trying to sell it to a pawn shop.

By law Sorasky has to hold on to any jewelry he buys for 10 days before he can resell it or melt it down.

"If somebody steals somebody's things they need an opportunity to get it back," said Keesha Drayton.

Customers like Drayton think posting the images online is a good idea and Carey Maxey, Sorasky's coworker, agrees.

"If it was me, I would want to be able to look on there by chance if my ring or bracelet might be there and then I can take steps to try to get it back," said Maxey.

If you see something you think is yours there's a form to fill out online and detectives will follow up. They haven't had a hit yet, but suspect it's just a matter of time.

"If you know you're missing property, you're going to easily identify it," said Det. Comegno.

Police hope one of the side benefits of this effort is that it'll make thieves think twice about trying to sell stolen property.

For more information visit the Burlington City Police website.