Proposed law targets gold, thieves
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY - As he empties out a small plastic bag, half a dozen rings, necklaces, and bracelets clink onto the glass counter top at Carroll Customer Jeweler's.
"I love the gold business, always have," owner Mike Carroll said Wednesday afternoon.
But, in recent years, Carroll has had to keep a careful eye on that business. In 2000, he paid $281 for an ounce of gold. This year he says it is $1,686. As the price continues to skyrocket, he is seeing more and more customers and gold. It is why he tries to certify each seller.
"We take a copy of their photo ID, their phone number, a photograph of what they're selling and we hold on to it for 5 days," he explained of his current system.
The County wants to do more, however.
"Right now there's nothing really being enforced," Assistant County Attorney Todd Jones, who drafted a new ordinance, said.
"Most people know they can turn around gold quicker than they can turn around anything else so a whole industry has opened up, which has kind of created the problem," he said of the rising price of gold and the subsequent rise in crime.
The ordinance will target those who advertise in newspapers, set up shop in a hotel room, and skip town. Also, it will put all purchased gold on a law enforcement database, known as LEADSonline. The ordinance would also require gold buyers to hold on to the gold for 7 days before melting it down. Those not in compliance could face jail time and fines of up to $500.
"This is something that's going to make it easier for legitimate businesses to conduct their business," Jones continued.
Mike Carroll says he does not mind the extra steps, "The more checks and balances we have the better it is for everybody."
Jones will present the ordinance at next month's Fiscal Court meeting. After a second reading and a public hearing it could be a law by spring.