, Salem, MA

Local News

October 17, 2012

Businesses fall under selectmen scrutiny

DANVERS — Selectmen handed out license suspensions to three businesses after police Chief Neil Ouellette outlined slip-ups in their procedures in recent months.

All three had their punishments held in abeyance for a year.

The board voted 5-0 to suspend the license for the sale of secondhand merchandise held by Gold Buyers at the Liberty Tree Mall due to discrepancies in its records.

Ouellette said Detective Robert Sullivan was investigating the sale of jewelry from a past house break in Peabody when he found the record for a transaction in May, about the time of the break, to be incomplete.

Bob Knapp, the Mahwah, N.J.-based company’s director of loss prevention, said it appeared that several transactions in question were the result of employees taking a shortcut to help customers, something that is not acceptable under town bylaws and company policy.

Two employees who were working for the store at the time have since left the company, and Knapp said it appeared the problems were isolated. When transactions are not recorded properly, police are unable to track possibly stolen merchandise.

Knapp called the six transactions in question “an anomaly.”

Selectmen voted to suspend Gold Buyers’ license for seven days, holding the punishment in abeyance for one year, meaning that if there are no more infractions, the store will not lose its license to operate.

The second suspension of the night was handed out to Olive Garden at 153 Andover St. for allegedly selling a Bud Light beer to an underage girl acting as a liquor compliance checker on July 27. Ouellette said the bartender told police that night he was busy at the bar and that he should have known to ask for identification.

Officials for the company said there is an extensive in-house training program to prevent the serving of minors and that the bartender who served the minor without asking for an ID had been fired. The manager on duty was also suspended. The board voted unanimously to suspend Olive Garden’s license for three days, with the punishment held in abeyance for one year.

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