BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - After investigation, detectives are cracking down on second hand businesses and their transactions.
About two weeks ago Kern County Sheriff’s Detectives received a tip about a business illegally taking in large amounts of valuable items on Chamberlain Avenue.
Witnesses said suspects would repeatedly show up carrying jewelry in their hands and then throwing away anything that the business would not buy. The nearby trash can contained jewelry, watches, engravings, and a jewelry box.
Some items found in the business have been identified as stolen and detectives are continuing to try to identify other victims.
Following that investigation, on Dec. 19 and 20, detectives of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office did a series of compliance checks on second hand businesses in various areas of the county.
In total, 50 businesses were inspected; 14 were in compliance with laws, 17 were no longer in business or could not be verified, and 19 were not licensed or not following the reporting laws.
There are a number of laws all Second Hand Dealers must comply with besides the licensing requirement.
Each business must fully identify the customer and create a record of the customers who sell them items, including the customers’ finger print. This record must completely describe every item the business buys from the customer and the report must be sent to the Sheriff’s Office or to the law enforcement agency governing the license.
The items purchased by the business cannot be sold for a minimum of 30-days after submitting the records to law enforcement.
By operating outside the law each of these businesses are making themselves a conduit for stolen property.
The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone in the Bakersfield area who has had valuables stolen within the last year to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The email should include the person's full name and telephone number, the crime report number the theft was reported under and jurisdiction, a detailed description of the items including the year (for coins), and photographs if you have them.
Detectives will only call/speak with people whose description is sufficiently detailed to make a reasonable match.