A JEWELLER acquitted of receiving stolen goods is still waiting for police to return stock worth £100,000 – four years after it was seized from his shop.
John Taylor, 45, who along with wife, Moira, runs Scotts Jewellers, was cleared of seven charges of reset in 2010 after being accused of having stolen jewellery at his Gorgie Road premises.
Despite this police still refuse to return his seized stock and have admitted they have even handed over some of the items to people who claim they were stolen from them.
The couple insist that three-quarters of the jewellery was brand new and have provided police with receipts and invoices to prove this.
John said: “We buy much of our stock from jewellery wholesalers and the police could have checked with them where the new stuff came from.
“Mass-produced jewellery all looks the same so it’s quite possible people have innocently mistaken our property for items stolen from them.
“I have been a respected businessman here for nearly 20 years and have never dealt with anyone who might have been offering questionable goods.”
The Taylors’ ordeal began in 2009 when John bought a Cartier watch as a present for his wife at a car boot sale.
However the piece wasn’t to Mrs Taylor’s taste and some weeks later she advertised it for sale on her personal eBay account, including a photo and the serial number.
Police then arrived at the couple’s shop in September and informed John the watch was stolen before stripping the store of its contents.
John said: “The watch was in the shop safe for security but it was not part of my business stock.
“If we’d known it was stolen we’d hardly have put the serial number online.”
After the Procurator Fiscal accepted his pleas of not guilty on all seven reset charges the Crown Office then slapped him with a proceeds of crime order demanding nearly £400,000 – but that was also later dropped.
A legal source familiar with the case said: “It is quite bizarre that the property has been retained by the police despite charges being dropped against Mr Taylor.
“It’s unclear why the authorities went after him so hard and then served the proceeds of crime order, which was withdrawn within months.”
A police spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh carried out an intelligence-led search of a business premises on Gorgie Road in September 2009 and seized a number of items of jewellery, which were believed to be stolen. A 42-year-old man was charged with alleged reset offences.
“Jewellery that could be identified as belonging to other individuals has since been returned to them and our inquiries are continuing to establish ownership for other items that were seized.”