The owner of Main Street's Middletown Jewelry Exchange was arrested Friday after a six-month-long investigation into his precious metals and stone dealing revealed multiple instances of buying stolen jewelry, according to Middletown Police.
On Oct. 21, detectives arrested business owner, Thomas Rosiello, 36, the owner of the 312 Main St., business, for failing to follow strict guidelines regarding his precious metals and stones dealer license. On three different occasions this year, Rosiello was accused of violating Connecticut State Statutes and town regulations/ordinances.
According to Middletown Police, Detective Denise Duffy is the primary law enforcement officer in Middletown who deals with businesses buying and selling precious metals. She has done the research and written the local policy regarding precious metals.
In April, police say Duffy was routinely inspecting reports from businesses when she noticed that a known suspect in a burglary in town had sold a piece of jewelry to the Middletown Jewelry Exchange. Duffy knew that the piece of jewelry had been reported stolen from a residential burglary in Middletown in March. There, $40,000 worth of jewelry had been stolen and this was the first piece to appear for investigators. Duffy went to the Middletown Jewelry Exchange seven days after the transaction occurred between the person selling it and the MJE.
She learned that the item sold had already been melted down, a violation of the licensing requirement in Middletown. Duffy also discovered that Rosiello inaccurately described the item on the reporting sheet, according to police. He listed it as a gold charm but when Duffy asked to view the picture of the item, it was a gold earring.
This was a violation of state statute CGS 414 section 21-100(e), Upon Request of the Licensing Authority each such licensed person shall make a weekly sworn statement, describing the goods received.
Duffy also noted that Rosiello paid cash to the person selling the item. This was a violation of CGS 414 section 21-100 (c). He did not provide a draft or cancelled check to prove that he did not pay cash, police say. He was asked to provide the photograph he was supposed to take of the person selling the item to him.
Rosiello told Duffy that his digital camera was broken so he did not take a photograph of the seller — another violation of city requirements, the report says.
In May, Duffy sent an email to Rosiello and hand delivered the same email to him with violations of state law and Middletown regulations that he violated. Rosiello signed and time/date stamped the email as proof that he received it, police say.
On Sept. 8, Duffy was inspecting reports from businesses and saw an item listed on the MJE’s weekly report matched the description of an item reportedly stolen in a residential burglary the month prior in August. The victim reported $400 worth of jewelry stolen.
When Duffy went to the MJE to inspect the records of the transaction, she was told by Rosiello that the records were not available, the police report says. That was a violation of CGS 414 section 21-100(b) Any State Police or Municipal officer shall have access to the records required to be kept under this section.
Duffy also learned that Rosiello paid cash to the seller for the item. It was later determined that the item was not stolen, however, Rosiello still violated state statute by paying cash to the seller.
In a third case involving Rosiello, Detective Brian White visited the MJE on or about Sept. 13 to review records of transactions. He noticed the name of a person listed as selling a ring to the MJE was known to police as a person who had committed past larcenies.
White discovered that the item listed was a gold ring. Investigation revealed the ring was reportedly stolen Sept. 6, police say. The accurate description of the ring should have been a “gold class with a blue stone.” Rosiello was found in violation of state statute again by failing to accurately describe the item purchased.
White contacted the victim for further details. When he returned to the MJE, he was told by Rosiello that the ring had been melted down. The transaction by the seller and the MJE was recorded on Sept. 6, which by local regulations means that Rosiello could not melt it down until Sept. 21.
The police report says Rosiello admitted to White that he knowingly violated the 15-day hold regulation but he needed the money for rent. Rosiello also admitted that he paid cash for the ring; a second violation. The third violation was for failing to photograph the seller from the transaction.
Rosiello was charged with six counts of Violation of Jewelry Requirements. He was released on a $500.00 non-surety bond with a pending court date at GA-9 on Oct. 28.
The Middletown Police Department has scheduled a hearing with Rosiello for Oct. 27 at police headquarters. The determination to allow Rosiello to continue functioning as a buyer/seller for precious metals will be examined.
According to state statue, the city's police chief is the licensing authority; and the licensing authority may also revoke the license for cause — necessitating a police hearing.