Richmond limiting cash for gold shops to curb crime

June 5, 2013 1:16:50 AM PDT
Richmond city leaders are trying to deal with a series of burglaries. One approach might be to restrict the number of cash for gold businesses in the city.

City leaders are convinced the stores help criminals exchange stolen gold items for cash and they want to stop them from multiplying there.

"Gold shops are kind of like liquor stores on every single corner in economically suppressed cities. You don't see these things in Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek," Richmond City Council Vice President Corky Booze said.

State law requires the stores to finger print and identify the person exchanging the gold.

"Once it's melted, what evidence do you have? You got a driver's license, you've got a fingerprint," Booze said.

But the gold has to be held for 30 days and reported to police before being melted and in some cases, criminals have been prevented from exchanging stolen items.

Nabil Mohammed: "I said, 'I need your ID,' and they said oh can we do without that, and I said no, you have to give me your ID; they ended up walking away," Cash for Gold's Nabil Mohammed said.

The only supporter for gold stores, City Councilmember Nat Bates, a former parole officer, said the point is moot because most criminals don't exchange their stolen items in the cities where they steal them.

Still, the council passed a 45 day moratorium so it can decide if cash for gold stores are appropriate for Richmond.

San Pablo city leaders are doing the same thing hoping that other cities like Richmond will jump on board and eliminate these stores from this part of the East Bay.

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