With gold selling for more than $1,400 per ounce, officials remind the public that there are laws governing the buying and selling of gold, Pasadena police said in a written statement.
"The Pasadena Police Department would like to inform the public that buying gold is against the law unless you are licensed by the California Department of Justice," the statement said.
In addition, police added, "Gold buyers are required by law to ask for identification from whoever they buy from and maintain a description of the items they are buying. This information is then reported to law enforcement."
"We want to caution people that care should be taken to buy from and sell to only licensed second-hand dealer," Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said. "This helps to prevent crime and will prevent people from buying stolen property unknowingly."
When not complying with the law, according to the police statement, "Some businesses may knowingly or unknowingly take in stolen property that belongs to the victim of a crime."
Business operators that buy or sell gold without a license are subject to arrest, a $1,500 fines and accusations of dealing in stolen property, police added.
The license required to sell gold is the same as that of other "second-hand dealers" who deal in items with serial numbers such as computers, cell phones, iPods and video game systems.
"By using reputable, licensed businesses, the average citizen can curb the buying and selling of stolen goods," Sanchez said. "When we make it harder for thieves to sell their ill-gotten gains, there is more of a chance to stem property crimes related to burglary."
Lt. Chris Russ said his department hopes to make strides this year against theft, as well as all other types of crime, by encouraging residents to make neighborhood security a New Year's resolution.
"In the new year, everyone should be committed to fight crime in their own neighborhoods through prevention," he said.
"I'm looking forward to this year being a tougher year for criminals," the lieutenant said.