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Danvers selectmen suspend Spindle City's Precious Metals license

Posted by Justin Rice  December 7, 2011 12:34 AM

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The Danvers Board of Selectmen suspended the license of Spindle City Precious Metals last night for several infractions of the town’s bylaws regarding the sale of junk and second hand articles. Police also allege that the pawnbroker that operates out of a kiosk in the Liberty Tree mall has become a popular location for thieves to unload stolen goods. 

The board was outraged that the Fall River-based company with 13 locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island was only represented at last night’s hearing by an employee that has worked for them for less than a month. 

The board suspended Spindle City’s license until March 1 and said its president or local manager will have to personally prove to the selectmen in February that they can adhere to the town bylaws if they want to avoid having their license suspended permanently.

“I’m loathe in a bad economy to be a hindrance to business, however, if ever there was an exception this would be it,” said Selectman Michael W. Powers, whose motion to suspend the pawnbroker’s license ultimately passed.

Police Chief Neil F. Ouellette told selectmen that the company has not been properly registering its sales, tracking where metals have come from, storing purchased items onsite for two weeks as the town bylaws require, along with keeping sales records onsite for one year.

Last March police discovered during a routine inspection that the business had an expired license, according to Ouellette. But while they renewed their license, Ouellette said Spindle City has still failed to follow the proper procedures for electronically tracking materials it buys and sells.

Ouellette said on one occasion a 29-year-old male sold a sterling silver set of flatware to Spindle City.

“I certainly suggest the license of this location be suspended for some time,” Ouellette told the Board.

Spindle City’s licensing director, Brian Corley, failed to adequately answer the board’s questions. He blamed the compliance issues on the manager of the kiosk in the Liberty Tree Mall who he said no longer works there.

“Going forward we’re just interested in abiding by the bylaws,” Corley told the Board. “We have several other stores in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in good standing. At this point we’re eager to meet the Town of Danvers bylaws going forward.”

Selectman William H. Clark, Jr.’s motion to revoke the license permanently failed.

“The stuff the chief referred to is private property; their family history stolen from homes through breaking and entering,” Clark said to Corley. “And you have the potential to facilitate a very hurtful and damaging crime and the cavalier nature of the corporation to respond to this, an ongoing issue … dumbfounds me.”

Board Chairman Daniel C. Bennett agreed with Clark.

“My sense is these are not the type of people we want in Danvers,” he said. “Your kiosk has been a magnet for a number of months for stolen goods. People hired haven’t been vetted enough to take in second hand goods. I can’t imagine an operation run as poorly as yours unless there is an ulterior motive.”

Justin A. Rice can be reached at

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