Byron second hand dealer shut down after investigation

A BYRON Bay second-hand dealer specialising in surfing equipment has been shut down following a joint investigation between police and the Department of Fair Trading into stolen goods.

Tweed/Byron crime manager Detective Inspector Brendon Cowen said police were tipped off about potential stolen goods at the shop and decided to do a full audit of the premises last Wednesday, investigating 60-100 items as either stolen or not having been properly recorded as part of the dealer's licensing requirements

Police have also declined to identify the business that was closed. However, the owner of Byron Bay's most prominent pawn shop - Byron Bay Pawnbrokers and Secondhand Dealers in the Woolies plaza - was keen to stress it was not his shop. Pawnbrokers owner Paul Curtis said his business had not been investigated and remained fully licensed and open for business.

Detectives and Target Action Group police will allege the Byron Bay second-hand dealer was lacking compliance with legislation governing the buying and selling of second-hand property.

"We're looking into the ownership of certain surfing equipment and related items - things such as surfboards and wetsuits," Det Insp Cowan said.

"A number of goods were seized from the premises," he said.

The licensee of the premises had now handed in her licence, so they should not be trading in second-hand goods, the Department of Fair Trading confirmed yesterday.

Police said they detected numerous breaches of the Pawnbrokers & Second Hand Dealers Act 1996 and will start proceedings in relation to these breaches.

Offences under the Pawnbrokers & Second Hand Dealers Act 1996 carry fines up to $5500.

No other shops were being audited as part of this particular investigation, Det Insp Cowan said, however, police urged the community to report people who could be involved in stealing goods or those who could be receiving stolen goods.

All information received would be treated with complete confidentiality and you could remain anonymous should you wish, police said.

Police can be contacted at Tweed Heads Police Station on 07 5536 0999 or Byron Bay Police on 02 6685 9499.

Information provided via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 that relates to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.

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