Toms River Shopkeeper Charged in Illicit Gold-Buy Investigation
A member of a Toms River family that operates a computer repair business is charged with running an illegal gold-buying setup inside it.
Mutlu "Mark" Baykara, 41, of Manchester, was arrested following a July 22 undercover operation by Toms River and Berkeley Township police at the Inner Net Store on Route 37.
Police say Baykara is considered a part-owner of the shop.
Baykara is charged with conspiracy to purchase stolen goods and violations of the township's second-hand dealer ordinance. He's accused of buying gold with no discretion as to its origin and fencing the goods in Woodbridge.
According to police, Toms River Detectives Mark Bajada and Roger Hull and Berkeley Township Detective Scott Stoker developed information that the shop was buying jewelry and hiding the transactions, requiring no identification, asking no questions and keeping no records.
While officers waited outside the store, a plainclothes cop presented ostensibly-stolen jewelry to Baykara and negotiated the sale.
On completion of the deal, officers marched in, accompanied by Barry Weick of Ocean County's Division of Weights and Measures. The scale used in the transaction was neither inspected nor complaint, police said. It was confiscated along with a gold-testing kit.
Baykara was released after being charged, to await court proceedings.