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New Law Makes Precious Metal Dealers Hold Items

Last updated on Saturday, July 13, 2013

(UNDATED) - Lawmakers hope new legislation will help curb theft in Hoosier communities.

Cash for gold businesses have dramatically increased in number across Indiana over the last few years, and because they are not subject to the same kind of regulation as, for instance, pawn brokers, stolen gold brought into a cash for gold business is often melted down immediately.

That puts police trying to recover the property at a disadvantage, which is why LaPorte Republican Representative Tom Dermody sponsored legislation that requires precious metal dealers to hold items brought in for 10 days and obtain identification information from the seller.

Legislation sponsored by Indianapolis Democratic Representative Justin Moed has a similar aim: making it harder for thieves to sell catalytic converters and copper coils stolen from air conditioners. The bill requires people to show proof of ownership of a vehicle or AC unit before selling the items to scrap yards, unless they are in the auto or HVAC business.

Moed says the measure is trying to change the way the frequently stolen items are sold.

Moed says a single catalytic converter can be worth more than $100 and he has talked to scrap yard owners who have seen people bring in bags of the valuable car parts. He says the new law will make it harder for thieves to profit from stolen goods.

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