November 16, 2010

Stricter Rules for Pawn Shops on Council Agenda

Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- The town council will consider tonight revisions to the town code regulating pawn shops that police say will make transaction reporting more efficient.
“The intent is to make the process less cumbersome for both the pawn shop dealers and less labor intensive for the police department,” Derry police Capt. George Feole said Monday.
Under the current town code, pawn and second-hand dealers are required to keep photographed copies of each pawned item and to forward transaction information to Derry police within 24 hours of the exchange.
According to the code, that transaction information includes the full name, date of birth and address of the seller and the time and date of the transaction.
But the proposed revisions would exempt several items from reporting altogether, including vehicle parts other than audio equipment, coins, currency, stamps and jewelry that is traded in for other pieces as opposed to cash.
Feole said the change allows police to focus on transactions more likely tied to stolen items.
“Burglars are generally trying to turn their ill-gotten goods into cash,” he said, as opposed to trading items for other pieces.
Further, police have proposed that photographs of pawned items no longer be required for items with serial numbers and easily identifiable products, such as video games, DVDs and CDs. Under the current proposal, transaction information would still
 be required for those items under the current proposal, Feole said.
The council adjusted the pawn dealers code last spring after nearly 15 years without change, Feole said, and police promised to revisit the code again this fall.
“We have been working closely with the vendors that are registered as pawn dealers and second-hand dealers in the community to make revisions that make things easier for them to manage and easier for the police department to manage,” Feole said.
And with extensive paperwork tied to each individual transaction, Feole said the process can be a lengthy one on both sides.
Last week alone, Derry police received information for 460 transactions from the town’s 10 registered secondhand and pawn dealers, which Feole said could include more than 2,000 individual items.
Each of those items must then be logged by hand into the Derry police database and forwarded to the New England State Police Information Network for their records. Once in that system, detectives from around the region can compare pawned items with those reported stolen in their areas, Feole said.
Among numerous minor wording changes in the new proposal, Feole said, the document also allows for an electronic reporting system in the future.
Derry Police Chief Edward Garone will present the proposal to the council tonight.
Feole said police have sent formal letters inviting the town’s numerous pawn shop owners to tonight’s meeting to share in discussions of proposed
 changes. Tonight’s meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Meeting Room at the Derry Municipal Center.

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