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THE SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE RECENTLY CONDUCTED A COUNTY WIDE STING OPERATION TO DETERMINE LEVELS OF COMPLIANCE WITHIN THE PAWN SHOP AND SECONDHAND DEALER INDUSTRIES.  DEPUTIES SAY THE SARASOTA, VENICE, AND NORTH PORT POLICE DEPARTMENTS ASSISTED WITH THE UNDERCOVER OPERATION TO SELL GOLD JEWELRY TO EACH BUSINESS.  WHILE MANY WERE FOUND TO BE IN COMPLIANCE, A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES WERE OPERATING UNDER A NO QUESTIONS ASKED POLICY, MAKING NO ATTEMPT TO PROPERLY DOCUMENT THE SELLER INFORMATION, RECORD THE ITEMS BEING PURCHASED, OR TO OBTAIN THE SELLER’S FINGERPRINT, ALL OF WHICH ARE REQUIRED BY THE STATE.  THE FIVE BUSINESSES FOUND VIOLATING THE LAW ARE ALL LOCATED IN SARASOTA.  DEPUTIES SAY WHILE THESE VIOLATIONS ARE MISDEMEANORS, INVESTIGATORS CONSIDER THEM SERIOUS BECAUSE THEY ARE FUNCTIONING AS A BLACK-MARKET FENCING OPERATION BY PROVIDING EASY CASH TO BURGLARS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCREASING NUMBER OF BURGLARIES IN THE COUNTY.