HomeMt Laurel NewsOrdinance passed for pawn shop transactions

Ordinance passed for pawn shop transactions

Mt. Laurel Town Council introduced an ordinance that aims to crack down on thieves who sell and pawn stolen items.

The ordinance, which was passed on first reading at the council meeting last week, will require all secondhand dealers to record every transaction they make into a database that the police department can search for items that were reported stolen.

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According to Councilwoman Lynn Solomon, the purpose of the ordinance is to help law enforcement recover stolen items that thieves may try to sell to secondhand shops.

“It will make it easier for the police department to track down stolen items,” Solomon said.

Each secondhand seller will be required to record each transaction made into an electronic database software system within 48 hours of the purchase. The records must include full identification of the seller, a full description of the item sold, the price of the item sold and a photograph of the item.

Shops will be penalized if they fail to comply. While some of the items that fall into this ordinance include electronics such as cameras, televisions and DVD players, the focus is to crack down on patrons who steal items such as jewelry, gold and silver and then pawn it to receive cash.

Police Chief Dennis Cribben and the Mt. Laurel police department made a push to get the council to draw up an ordinance, according to Lt. Stephen Riedener. Riedener said many surrounding towns have similar ordinances and use electronic databases to track thieves who are frequently going into pawn shops to get money for stolen items.

“If you have someone who’s pawning a lot of items every week, that raises a lot of suspicion,” he said.

In addition to keeping an eye out for thieves, Riedener added that the ordinance will make things easier for pawn shop owners, as the police department will be able to simply search the database for stolen items without constantly asking shop owners for information.

“The new database system is going to help modernize the whole process,” he said.

The ordinance’s public hearing date is set for the next council meeting on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

In other news:

• Mt. Laurel Town Council approved a resolution setting a curfew for minors on Halloween. The curfew, signaling the end of trick-or-treating, will be at 9 p.m. A curfew of 9 p.m. is also set for Oct. 30, commonly known as Mischief Night.

• By a unanimous vote of 3–0, the Council also approved the appointment of John Francescone as a member of the Mt. Laurel Municipal Utilities Authority. His term extends through Feb. 1, 2014.
The town council will hold a work session on Monday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The next regular council meeting is on Monday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.


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