Authorities promise to stay vigilant and keep investigating businesses that purchase secondhand jewelry in light of earlier this year.
Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes reaffirmed her office’s commitment to find the stolen items that have not been recovered yet.
Valdes and other authorities allegedly violated state and local laws protecting consumers seeking to trade in their precious metals for money. None of the businesses were licensed to purchase jewelry.
“We want to make sure that if people’s homes are being burglarized, and their jewelry is being sold at these places, we have an opportunity to at least recovery some of the jewelry from homes that have been victimized,” Valdes said Tuesday.
Seven businesses are located at The Wayne Diamond and Jewelry Exchange and four at . also had violations brought against it.
In all, 171 state civil complaints and 30 municipal code violations were levied against the businesses.
Wayne Police Det. Dennis Ferray said the regulations serve a dual purpose.
“It’s to protect both the consumer and the business person,” Ferray said. “If we do seize stolen property, then a business is out hundreds if not thousands of dollars.”
Capt. Mark McGrath said Tuesday that there is no indication that any of the businesses purchased stolen property.
Mike DeSantis, manager of The Jewelry Exchange, ordered all vendors at the business to stop purchasing secondhand jewelry after the violations were announced.
“We’re stopping buying jewelry from customers until we get this entire situation straightened out with the proper authorities,” DeSantis said. “We did not knowingly sell any stolen jewelry or try to defraud anyone. We just want to do the right thing.”
Businesses at The Jewelry Exchange had scales allegedly certified by the state's Office of Weights and Measures.
DeSantis said he did not know that there are municipal laws governing the purchasing of used and secondhand jewelry. But, he also said that being ignorant of the laws existence does not excuse not adhering to them.
Several of the town regulations were added to the municipal code in 2003 and 2005. The original ordinance outlining the regulations was approved in 1981.
In related news, a report on nbcnewyork.com shows personnel allegedly from The Wayne Diamond and Jewelry Exchange attacking a news cameraman and a reporter.
The following businesses had violations brought against them:Jeweler Number of Complaints Bayar Jewelers 15 D'Malke Jewelers 7 Gallo Jewelry 12 Jewelry by Eric 13 Jewelry by Jakup 15 Jewelry by Marcus 33 Kemerli Millenium International 14 M.A. Jewelers 13 Obsession Diamonds 15 Pink Diamond 11 Six Stars Jewelers 12 Verdi Jewelry 11