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New Law Will Tighten Rules On Local Gold-Buying Shops
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:15

ALL THAT GLITTERS: Alameda County officials want to make sure that local Cash-4-Gold shops aren’t buying stolen gold.




By Robert Souza




Alameda County officials want more oversight on so-called “Cash-4-Gold” businesses that advertise same-day gold purchases from the public.

Half of the dozen such shops in the country are here in Castro Valley. The law would also apply to regular jewelry stores, most of which buy scrap gold.

The new regulation would require buyers to hold purchased gold for up to 30 days and to document the identification of those selling the items.

These businesses have a legitimate purpose to recycle gold for cash, but they can also be hubs for fencing stolen property,” explained Sheriff’s Sgt. Bret Scheuller during Wednesday’s Unincorporated Services Committee meeting hosted by Supervisors Nate Miley and Wilma Chan.

Mo Hirzala, who manages the Cash-4-Gold store at 3169 Castro Valley Blvd., said many of the rules, such as the documentation and hold periods are already being followed.

“We cooperate with sheriff’s officers and follow the rules because we want to keep a good business name,” said Hirzala. He said his shop buys some 15-25 items per week, usually coins, jewelry and scrap gold pieces.

Sgt. Scheuller said the county has a current set of business-practice codes, but that they do not include adequate wording specific to the “Cash 4 Gold” locations. He said additions to the existing regulations will allow deputies to visit businesses to inquire about items that may have been stolen.

“There can be a criminal element selling to these businesses and with the new ordinance we would be able to potentially recover stolen property,” Scheuller said.

Just last week, the Hayward Police Department issued an alert on the number of gold chain robberies in the city.

The new ordinance, which will undergo hearings next month, could become law as soon as February. The Forum will announce upcoming meetings on the ordinance when they are scheduled.



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