A Northeast Philadelphia man was dealing in stolen jewelry at his Port Richmond pawn shop, according to charges filed last month by Philadelphia police.
Police raided the Aramingo Cash 4 Gold, at 3595 Aramingo Ave., on March 20 and recovered various jewelry and watches, along with a set of collectible Barbie dolls, that had not been documented as required by law. Officers arrested the shop owner, identified as Meir Cohen, 48, of the 2100 block of Berwyn St. in Bustleton.
Police launched the investigation on March 7 after an informant told detectives that he had stolen several pieces of jewelry from an Auburn Street home, then sold the items at various pawn shops, including Cash 4 Gold. According to police, Cohen never asked to see the informant’s ID and did not photograph the informant or fingerprint him as required by a city ordinance regulating the sale and purchase of precious metals.
Under the same ordinance, precious metals dealers also are required to share information about all sales and purchases with police through an Internet-based inventory system. Police found no records in the database for transactions at Cash 4 Gold from July 23 through March 13.
On March 20, an undercover detective went to the shop and offered to sell a bracelet and ring to Cohen. The shop owner agreed to pay $115 for the bracelet, but did not record the detective’s ID, take his photograph or take his fingerprint, according to police. Cohen didn’t photograph the bracelet, either, and gave the cash to the detective, who left the store, according to police, who served a search warrant in the shop about 10 minutes later.
In hope of identifying the owners of the undocumented merchandise, police have posted photos of the items in a web video. To view the video, go to the Philadelphia Police channel on YouTube.com. To report information about the items, call Officer Strain at 215–686–3243. ••