Modesto wastewater workers investigated for selling 'sewer gold'

March 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some Modesto wastewater employees are under investigation for selling thousands of dollars' worth of gold jewelry. Here's the catch, they found those jewels, in the city's sewer system.

In the video, you'll see some of the gold that came into one dealer's shop, over the past several months. It was collected by city employees from you-know-where.

Yvonne Brawley, a supervisor at Modesto Gold, Jewelry and Coins said, "From the city sewer traps, and they cleaned it up. And some of it wasn't gold and some of it was."

A routine audit of pawn shop records led Modesto police to wonder why the city employees didn't report to the found gold to their supervisors. They set the total value of the sewer jewelry at $2,500.00, and will submit their report to the DA for possible criminal prosecution.

Armando Jimenez with South Side Pawn said, "It's easy to clean. You put it in a good solution, clean it up, and it's good as new."

Back at the shop that actually bought the sewer gold, they're wondering why police are making a fuss about it.

James Brawley said, "You know the old saying, finders keepers?"

"They should be able to keep it if they found it," said Yvonne Brawley. "Nobody's going to want it. It took a lot of work trying to get that out."

Regardless of where the criminal investigation winds up, at this point, officials say it doesn't appear the sewer workers violated any city policies in keeping the gold.


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