Bustleton man arrested for dealing stolen jewelry at pawn shop

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. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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