|Peter Diodati of Pawn Guys fills out a transaction record to be forwarded to Derry police within 24 hours of the sale. A new ordinance will likely cut down on the amount of daily paperwork required, he said.
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- While police say used video game buyers will likely feel the biggest effects of changes to Derry’s second-hand dealers ordinance, pawn shops in town say they welcome any reduction in paperwork.
To comply with town code, Derry pawn shops and second-hand dealers must deliver written records and photographs of pawned items to the police department within 24 hours of the sale, which many say amounts to cumbersome piles of paperwork.
But with changes approved by council Tuesday, several new items will be exempt from reporting altogether.
“This will make it a lot easier for me to be taking care of my customers because I’ll have less paperwork that has to be filled out between each one,” said Pawn Guys owner Peter Diodati Wednesday.
As of Dec. 16, pawn dealers will no longer need to send records of pawned coins, currency, stamps and vehicle parts other than audio equipment, or jewelry and video games that are exchanged for other items or store credit.
Further, the new ordinance says that photographs will no longer be required for items with serial numbers, video game accessories, DVDs and CDs.
“(Derry police) used to want pictures of everything and it was overwhelming for them,” said Debbie Mackey, owner of Once A Pawn And Time, Wednesday. “It’s also a lot of work for us, but it is what it is and we’ll do it. But now there will be less paperwork for us, too.”
Mackey said she usually handles about 20 transactions a day and that the changes will probably cut her daily paperwork load by about 10 percent.
But Mackey’s numbers only account for a small portion of the total transactions coming in to Derry police each week, said Capt. George Feole.
Last week, Derry police saw a total of 460 transactions from the town’s 10 pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers, Feole said, which he said could include for more than 2,000 individual pawned items.
Of that, 311 transactions involved used video games at the local GameStop store on Manchester Road, he said.
And GameStop has the most to gain under the new ordinance, as Feole said a “large majority” of their business handles the video games exchanged for store credit that will soon be exempt from reporting.
“This is a big deal for Game- Stop because, quite honestly, they are by far our largest reporter of transactions,” Feole said.
The most recent round of changes comes after earlier adjustments in May, which exempted jewelry exchanges from reporting. Over the past several months, members of the Derry Police Department have been working with local pawn dealers to make some final revisions.
“All of the dealers in town have been very helpful and cooperative through the metamorphosis of this ordinance and I appreciate their input on putting this document together,” said Derry Police Chief Edward Garone at Tuesday’s council meeting, where his proposal was met with unanimous support. Al Nolan, of Al Nolan’s Jewelry and Pawn, has been open in Derry for about 20 years and says he’s pleased with the changes.
“I think the chief did a hell of a job on it and he listened to us and tweaked things along the way,” Nolan said Wednesday.
But Nolan said he’s skeptical about the future of electronic reporting, which was included in the new ordinance but is not up and running at the police station yet.
“The problem with technology is that it’s outdated quickly and the good thing about paperwork is that it doesn’t crash,” Nolan said.
“It might be bulky, but when that computer goes out and you lose everything, what good is it?”
Mackey said she considered buying an electronic reporting system when she first opened her shop about three and a half years ago, but decided to hold out until a police system was ready.
“It was $5,000 and I didn’t want to invest in that if I couldn’t hook into the police system,” she said. “But if they’re willing, I’m there.”
Feole said the department is looking into the possibility of electronic reporting, but that nothing has been decided yet.