Local jewelry store is probed

Posted: April 23, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A local jewelry store is under investigation after the alleged illegal purchase of precious metals from an undercover police officer on at least three occasions.

A search warrant, filed Monday in Winchester Circuit Court, states that on three occasions — the last being within 48 hours of Thursday morning — an undercover police officer went to Fosters Jewelers at 18 Weems Lane with some precious metal to sell.

The store bought the items from the officer each time, and failed to ask for identification, log the sale, report the sale and owner to the police department and paid the officer from the business cash register, the warrant states.

Winchester Police Department spokeswoman Lauren Cummings said she could not release what prompted the undercover investigation. She said that no charges have been placed.

The warrant states that the business could be in violation of keeping an accurate and legible record of each purchase of precious metals or gems and not furnishing those records to police, purchasing precious metals without asking for identification, retaining precious metals for 15 calendar days and maintaining records for 24 months.

As part of the warrant — which was executed Monday — officers seized several boxes of precious metals, computer towers with hard drives, documents of sales and jewelry and coins pawned for cash but not reported to police.

A store representative could not be reached for comment.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton@winchesterstar.com