An Uncomfortable Truth
We hate to see anyone be the victim of theft. We've talked to too many of our customers whose homes were violated and had their irreplaceable keepsakes stolen. Then, there's the uncomfortable moment when they ask if we bought their stolen jewelry...
"I sure hope so!"
Our loyalty is to our customers, not thieves. We go beyond what the law requires to reunite victims with their property. If you would like to talk to us about our policies on gold buying and stolen jewelry, we encourage you to do so. These kinds of conversations helped us craft our current policy into what it is today.
All Gold Buyers Will Eventually Buy Stolen Jewelry, But Ethical Buyers Are Your Best Bet To Recover Them.
To buy from the general public, all employees must pass a background check. For every sale, you must make a photocopy of the customer's ID, write a detailed description of the items, hold them for 30 days, and provide access to the Pawn Shop Unit of the Columbus Police Department. If stolen items are found, they are taken into evidence and eventually returned to the victim.
If the police apprehend the seller and are able to recover the money, it is returned to the buyer.
John Paul's Policy
Our industry is based on trust. We've spent 40 years earning Columbus' trust by being ethical in everything we do.
Our current policy is to hold all items for at least 60 days (90 on average). If we suspect something is stolen, we require a fingerprint in addition to their ID, we preserve our security footage, and we actively work with detectives to determine if our suspicions were correct. Returning stolen property to its rightful owner is our first priority. We also act quickly in the hope we recover our funds.
An Imperfect System
There's a limit to what we can do. We can't confiscate something just because we see red flags and often times, we're not able to buy the items in question. Thieves use the law to test a buyer's ethics by 'forgetting their ID.' Since it's illegal to buy without an ID, they safely avoid ethical buyers until they find one that's not. An unethical buyer would then melt down those goods and destroy the evidence before the pawn shop unit has a chance to investigate.
Eventually, unethical buyers and thieves get caught. If you were a victim, we know this provides little solace. But there are things you can do.
Fill Out A Police Report, ASAP
Give the police as detailed of a description as you can. Photographs are even better and nothing beats an insurance appraisal.
Talk To The Gold Buyers
Contact the local gold buyers and ask them to be on the lookout. You can call us at 706-568-9148 or email us at email@example.com. We'll keep your information next to our scale and if we see one of your pieces, we can hold it and call the police.
Follow Up With The Police
We've worked with a lot of good people at the Columbus Police Department over the years, but they have limited resources and a lot of cases. It doesn't hurt to be a squeaky wheel.
Look To The Future
We hate that this is often a lesson learned too late. Most people come to us for an appraisal after they've dealt with an unfortunate event. Jewelry insurance is inexpensive and will cover your financial loss in a worst cast scenario. Ask for an "All Risk Policy." From working with customers on insurance replacements, we can tell you that Jeweler's Mutual and USAA treat their policy holders very fairly and often times homeowner's policies are lacking.
Reinforcing your door jambs and storing your jewelry in a fireproof safe that's bolted to the floor is enough to thwart most criminals. If you are going out of town for the weekend, take advantage of our free jewelry cleaning service and let us keep it in our bank vault. That's why we bought it. You can also rent a safety deposit box at your local bank or with us for long term storage.