By Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News

Burglars may now have a harder time selling stolen items in Gardendale.

The city council recently approved a proposed ordinance designed to regulate the sale of jewels, gold, silver and other precious metals. The measure amends an older city ordinance.

Gardendale Police Chief Mike Walker said the ordinance is in response to an increasing problem of store owners buying items suspected of being stolen from residences. He said business owners may purchase the items and not be aware the items are stolen.

The ordinance would require these businesses to obtain identification from the second party and make a copy of the identification and keep it on file for 30 days.

The business owners would also be required to photograph any precious metals or jewels brought in by an individual. One section of the ordinance also requires business owners to retain purchases for 30 days.

“If we receive a burglary report, we can then have time to go by and inspect it and make sure it doesn’t fit the description of something in a crime,” Walker said.

He said with the rising costs of precious metals, some business owners may be tempted to make quick money and not think twice about the source of the items.

Walker said most business owners in Gardendale have cooperated with the police department in such cases. However, business owners who do not comply may be subject to a revokation of their business license.

Bob Boffa, owner of Gardendale Jewelers, said he may not agree completely with all aspects of the ordinance, but said he completely supports the council’s decision to approve the measure.

He views it as a way to keep burglars and stolen items out of the city and expressed disappointment in business owners who purchase gold and guns without questioning the items’ origins.

“The reputation of a jeweler used to be right up there with a minister,” Boffa said. “Now, we’re in the category of a used car salesman. This is a way to clean up our business and improve our reputation.”

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