Cops: Second-Hand Dealers Popping Up To Help Thieves Turn Quick Profits

YONKERS (CBSNewYork) — If you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it.

That’s the message Yonkers police are sending out as a warning about wearing gold jewelry. Thieves are targeting ladies wearing gold accessories.

CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez talked to a victim of this type of snatch and grab on Thursday night, and she explained exactly how it all goes down.

Sydney Jennings said she was wearing a gold chain on Saturday afternoon when she was attacked from behind by two young men on bikes.

“They riding around snatching at people’s stuff,” the 75-year-old said. “They snatched my jewelry. Hit my pacemaker, and sped up on the bike.”

The two would-be robbers weren’t able to get Jennings’ chain, but police said at least six women in their mid 40s to 50s have been robbed of their gold chains on Yonkers’ west side during daylight hours, dating to late April.

“They can go to these second-hand gold dealers. A lot of them are springing up, especially in that particular area. So there’s an easy market for these people to turn in the gold for cash,” Yonkers Police Capt. Robert Itzla said.

To deter illegal gold buying, Westchester County law requires stores to obtain a picture ID from the seller and a detailed description of the jewelry for police to review.

“After the police station, if any of the jewelry is reported stolen and they see that it looks like it they come over here and they take it,” jeweler Griselda Balbuena said.

Because gold is a lucrative business, police said thieves are finding stores willing to ignore the paperwork and they’re stealing with no fear.

“I get scared sometimes, because you might not know where you’ll be attacked,” resident Monica Fredricks said.

Police are urging people to protect themselves by keeping their precious metal hidden. They said there may be more than one suspect involved.

Police in Paterson, N.J., said they are also dealing with a rise in gold chain thefts.

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