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Seven Augusta pawnshops were issued magistrate court citations after a sheriff’s office investigation into the illegal purchase of precious metals or gems.

Plainclothes deputies visited 30 pawnshops and gold buyers over several days to review improper or illegal purchase procedures. According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, officers were searching for businesses or individuals who purchase gold, silver or platinum metals or precious gems without a regulatory permit, or without obtaining identification from the seller or documenting the sale. Proper documentation of a sale includes a receipt of purchase, photos of the items, fingerprints and daily reporting to authorities.

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