Police seize gold, silver and cash at Maryville business, residence
From Staff Reports
Thousands of dollars worth of scrap gold and silver, as well as cash, were seized from a Maryville business and residence Friday as part of a criminal investigation, said Blount County officials.
Detectives from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant Friday at Professional Gold & Silver Buyers, located in the Antique Mall on Druid Hill Drive in Maryville, a Sheriff’s Office news release states. Detectives seized everything in the booth, which included gold, silver and cash. This led to a second search of the business owner’s residence on South Dunlap Street, where several thousand dollars worth of additional gold and silver were seized, police said.
Charges against the business owner are pending, the Sheriff’s Office said.
According to the release, police had received numerous complaints that the owner was in violation of state law regulating the buying and selling of scrap metal. Police say the business owner was in violation of all three parts of the law, which require that anyone purchasing scrap metal must require a valid ID from the seller, that the items be kept for a minimum of 20 days and that the buyer report all daily transaction information to area law enforcement.
The Sheriff’s Office said numerous attempts were made to have the business owner comply with the newer law, which was enacted in 2008, but that he ignored all requests.
Blount County Sheriff James L. Berrong issued a warning to other business owners who may be in violation of the law.
“Be warned: we are cracking down on scrap metal businesses who are not complying with the law,” Berrong said in the release. “Anyone who is not, could face prosecution.”
Berrong also warned residents that with the rising price of precious metals, the Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in home burglaries all across the county in the last two years.
“Anything containing precious metals is being targeted, including jewelry, trailers, lawn mowers, metal parts from HVAC units, and other items burglars can carry off the property,” the release states.
Residents are advised to keep a list of serial numbers for valuable property and to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.