Dunwoody police have asked the City Council for help fighting jewelry thieves.
At the council’s April 9 meeting, Police Chief Billy Grogan suggested adding additional regulations for businesses that buy precious metals or second-hand jewelry. The new regulations, he said, would help police to recover stolen jewelry.
The changes would require a business to photograph a person selling jewelry, write a description of the item being sold and submit the information to police. Businesses also would be required to hold the jewelry for 15 days before reselling it or melting it.
“It gives us a little bit of a window to be able to check the items and make sure they’re not stolen,” Grogan said.
Grogan said last year, about $700,000 worth of jewelry was stolen in Dunwoody.
“The high price of gold and silver drives thieves to steal [jewelry] because they can get rid of it easily at places that buy gold and silver,” Grogan said. “This is a way for us to crack that.”
Grogan said measures like these are common in other jurisdictions. Jewelry reported stolen from Dunwoody residents is often recovered in pawnshops around the metro area, Grogan said. Though there aren’t any pawnshops within Dunwoody city limits, there are several businesses that buy jewelry.
Haim Haviv, owner of H&A International Jewelry in Dunwoody, said he, too, thinks the measure would be a good way to stop jewelry thieves.
“I think something like this is excellent if you really stay behind it. Don’t just pass it to give a hard time to certain businesses,” he said. “I think if the police stay behind it, it’s wonderful.”
Grogan said police believe jewelry theft is on the rise.
“When we started in 2010, it seems like electronics were the number one thing,” Grogan said. “For a while it seemed like every burglary we had was a flat screen TV being stolen.”
Now, there are more reports of jewelry being taken. Grogan said there are probably several reasons, including the high price of precious metals and the ease of concealing jewelry.
City Council will vote on the proposed change April 23.