Auburn Board Revokes Mall Gold Kiosk License For Violations

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Katherine Tompkins, manager of the Buying Gold kiosk at the Auburn Mall, went before Auburn selectman Monday for a hearing on the town's junk license violations.
Katherine Tompkins, manager of the Buying Gold kiosk at the Auburn Mall, went before Auburn selectman Monday for a hearing on the town's junk license violations. Photo Credit: Daniel Castro

AUBURN, Mass. — The Auburn selectmen revoked the license of a cash for gold kiosk inside the Auburn Mall Monday, after the employees failed to hold evidence from an alleged burglary of a Grafton home.

Last month selectmen adopted a stricter junk license policy in response to the incident, and Monday night the managers of two cash for gold kiosks inside the mall went before the board to have separate violations investigated.

Grafton resident Joyce Deschenes reported women's jewelry, later valued at $9,598, stolen from her Grafton home on Nov. 25, police said. 

Deschenes found and identified her stolen jewelry at the Buying Gold Inc. kiosk in Auburn, according to Detective Vincent Ross of the Auburn Police Department.

But after police issued an order to the kiosk employees to hold the items so they could be taken in as evidence, when Grafton Police spoke with kiosk manager Katherine Tompkins later in the week, they discovered the jewelry had been sent to co-owner Assaf Sasson in Florida and melted.

After hearing directly from police and Tompkins Monday night, the selectboard determined that Buying Gold was in violation of the town's junk license policy for not properly documenting their transaction, as well as failing to hold the items in question.

Taken as two separate violations, the selectboard issued a one-day suspension for this Thursday for the first, and revoked their license entirely for the second.

Selectman Robert Grossman said there were too many infractions that were serious enough to call for a revocation.

Selectman Steve Simonian said he supported the revocation, adding that throughout the process of investigating the matter "it seemed that rather than follow the requests made by law enforcement, more effort was made to find a way to circumvent those. That's what bothered me the most."

The board also put the Gold Deposit kiosk on notice after a complaint from a Worcester resident who allegedly located costume jewelry stolen from her home inside the kiosk's display case at the mall.

Auburn Police Chief Andrew Sluckis said that in 24 years the police department hasn't had any issues with Hannoush Jewelers, also located at the Auburn Mall.

While he said Hannoush was "very vigilant when it comes to taking in jewelry, in regards to the kiosks he said "these businesses have been here for a relatively short time and already we're sitting here having two hearings in the same night."

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