Authorities in Blount County are cracking down on scrap metal dealers breaking state law at the same time new regulations surrounding the sale and re-sale of scrap metals take effect.
Lawmakers passed the new rules in the last session, though they didn't take effect until the calendar turned to July.
The law requires scrap metal dealers to register all their locations with the state. Previously, dealers only needed to register one. Additionally, rule breakers buying and selling certain metals face harsher penalties.
The legal changes come on the heels of a Blount County investigation that turned up thousands of dollars in scrap gold and silver.
Blount County deputies served two search warrants surrounding the Professional Gold and Silver Buyers at the Antique Mall.
The Sheriff's Office says the business failed to check seller's IDs, hold on to scrap metals for at least 20 days, and another key portion of state law.
"Every day they are supposed to report any merchandise they have taken in that day, and this gentleman was not in compliance with that," said Marian O'Briant, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.
The agency has seen an increase in property crimes and re-selling in recent years, O'Briant said.
"Not only in Blount County, but around the country and in Tennessee, the pill problem is driving a lot of this," she said.
They recommend taking basic security precautions, including locking doors and windows and cataloging valuables.
"Record serial numbers, things like that. Take pictures of your jewelry and your jewelry box. It makes it easier for law enforcement to identify that if it is stolen," O'Briant said.
The sheriff's office says the owner of Professional Gold and Silver Buyers will face several misdemeanor citations and fines. Their investigation is ongoing.