CLEVELAND - The city of Cleveland is cracking down on businesses that buy gold or silver from thieves.
The Cleveland City Council passed an ordinance last week allowing police and city inspectors to cite businesses that buy gold, silver and other precious metals without a required state license. Violations would be punishable by up to six months in jail.
Previously the city regulated only pawnbrokers who are required to obtain licenses from the state and the city.
Councilman Jay Westbrook estimates that hundreds of auto dealerships, phone stores and other businesses have begun buying precious metals without a license.
He says he hopes the illegal precious metals market will dry up once police and city inspectors get the power to enforce the state law.
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