Springfield is moving ahead with stricter regulations for pawn shops and junk dealers. The police and City Council supporters say the new rules will help prevent the sale of stolen goods.
The new ordinance extends from 10 to 30 days that pawn shops and second-hand stores must hold jewelry and other used items before they can re-sell them.
Springfield City Councilor Tom Ashe says the current ten-day hold did not give police enough time to determine if the items were stolen. He says dealers will also have to take digital photographs of all items taken in, so they can be uploaded to a state police database.
“The assigned officers can log on, look at what items are taken in, match them up to burglary reports, and do those investigations, go to the pawn shops and do the kind of police work that’s necessary to make arrests and so forth…with the hopes ultimately to return those items to their rightful owners,” he says.
The City Council approved the new measure by an 11-2 vote despite considerable criticism from some dealers, who claim the new rules would hurt their business and invade their customers’ privacy.
Ashe says Mayor Domenic Sarno has indicated he would sign the measure.