MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - One Memphis City Councilman wants to keep a closer eye on shops that buy gold.
Sellers can get around $1,600 for just one ounce of 24 Karat gold, and that number's not lost on criminals or the Memphis City Council.
Selling gold has become a quick and easy way to make a few bucks. Crooks have noticed, stealing gold and selling it as their own.
Matt Holsen, owner of Memphis Gold Buyers, said, "We have to ask everyone, 'Is this yours?' and of course they say it is. We follow state law, which is take a photo ID, thumbprint, accurate description of jewelry and all their accurate information."
The state of Tennessee has some of the strictest laws in the nation. Holsen said he follows the letter of the law with every customer. "Anything we purchase we hold for 30 days, that gives police time to investigate any crime that might come up in that time period, time to recover the items."
However, many shops don't follow the law. Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins said, "We've been getting numerous calls about businesses purchasing stolen gold and reselling it."
Collins wants to hold sellers and buyers accountable. "We're asking Memphis Police to do a check on the number of complaints that persons may have filed against some of the gold purchase businesses to look and see if any of the gold purchased by businesses has been stolen gold."
Collins is still doing research on what would be an effective ordinance for gold buyers in the City of Memphis.
Collins said, "We're looking to see how we can bring those businesses in line with some of the pawn shop regulations. They would have to report the sale and purchase of gold to police in a certain amount of time."
Holsen thinks it's just a matter of police regulating already existing laws. "The state law is strict already." He said, "For those who follow it, it's pretty tough, it should be enough."
Collins hopes to have the Memphis Police Department's report back by the next city council meeting. If there is a problem the city needs to address they will work on it in February.