Police cracking down on precious metal dealers

Published: Jul. 20, 2018 at 3:32 PM EDT
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A Barre thrift store is one of several precious metal dealers under fire after allegedly selling stolen property linked to burglaries.

Police say the Barre yearlong investigation started with a burglary in Northfield. Three suspects in that home break-in were caught and confessed to selling stolen property to Country Thrift store and More in Barre. After months of investigation, police say James Barrow Jr. and Sr. knowingly bought stolen property from burglary suspects on multiple occasions. Police say the father and son did not properly document the jewelry they purchased and conducted most of their transactions off store property.

"Bypassing those safe-guards is a way that unfortunately enables the drug epidemic going on in Vermont, because people have an incentive to steal property, turn it in and turn it into cash to enable their addiction," said Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault.

The two men pleaded not guilty to all charges this week.

Vermont State Police say the owners of two Chittenden County shops also face similar charges. John Kirby, 44, the owner of Green Mountain Coin and Estate Jewelry in Burlington, and Stephen Edwards of Vermont Coin and Jewelry in South Burlington, were charged earlier this week with sloppy book keeping.

Coming up on the Channel 3 News on Tuesday, we ask police what is the likelihood victims will get their possessions back, and you will hear from one victim who says about $50,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from his house and later resold at Country Thrift Store and More.