Cash-for-gold shops all over Indianapolis will have to abide by stricter rules starting next year to make sure they aren’t buying stolen jewelry.
“In my mind it’s legalized fencing and now we’ve done something to stop it,” said Rep. Christina Hale, D-Indianapolis, sponsor of the legislation that passed in the last General Assembly.
Too often gold being sold for cash is stolen, said Hale. The new law that goes into effect on July 1, 2014, will require all sellers to show their identification before the stores will purchase the gold. Merchants will then have to hold onto the gold for ten days before melting it down.
At the Indy Gold shop on East Washington Street, owners already practice this law by requiring all customers to show their identification and sign paperwork.
When asked how burglars act in the store, employee Heather Mc Clelland said, “They kinda get a little skittish when you ask for their ID. They won’t really look at you, but they will kind of flitter away back out the door.”
McClelland said her east side store has the reputation of cracking down on suspicious sales and cooperating with police investigating stolen items.
A law going into effect this weekend will make it more difficult for people wanting to sell catalytic converters and copper from air conditioners to scrap yards. Those items are often stolen from vehicles and abandoned homes.
“This is going to limit who can bring them into those who have rightful ownership of them or those who work in the auto or construction industry and have been working on those items,” said Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, who sponsored the legislation.
Moed estimates the cost to a driver or his insurance company once a catalytic converter is stolen can reach one thousand dollars.
Besides protecting abandoned property or homes under renovation from copper thieves, another new law will protect neighbors who want to clean up a community eyesore.
A Good Samaritan law will go into effect on July 1, 2013, allowing neighbors to care for abandoned properties by mowing the lawns and painting over graffiti without fear of legal action by the owners or the city.