The ordinance requires a business license. Dealers would record the following information from each transaction with a seller: a description of the goods, name, age, date of birth, hair color, race, sex, height, weight, build, general appearance, distinguishing marks, driver's license number or numbers from two means of identification, a photograph and a legible right thumb print.
That information remains on file for one year from the date of the transaction, regardless of the disposition of the property in question. Police could inspect it at any time and without prior notice. "And we're not doing this so we can 'nail' any dealers or anything. It's about making sure we can track stolen items like we should be able to," Lamb said. Several stolen items have shown up at area pawn shops, "and we have some shops that work with us really well," Lamb said, but others do not.
Lamb said the Lexington Police Department downloads detailed records from pawn shops onto a compact disk. "Then they print those out and they pass on any information to us about any items that have been sold to the stores from individuals in our area. It really helps us track stolen merchandise," Lamb said.
Will approach sheriff
Lamb will approach Sheriff Ron Wardrip about a county ordinance, he said.
Businesses would keep goods purchased for 72 hours, according to the proposal. The proposed ordinance prohibits purchases from anyone under the age of 18 without parental consent, or anyone who appears intoxicated or who has a record of theft or suspicion of theft.
Anyone under the age of 12 must appear with his or her parent or guardian.
Penalties include a warning for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second, $300 for the third, and $500 for a fourth offense along with revocation of license. Dealers in possession of a "doctored" or fraudulent book face immediate revocation of the business license and a fine of $1,000. "This just gives us a leg up on solving local crimes," Lamb said. "If we come in, we need to see the proof of their transactions."
The public can hear a first reading of the proposed ordinance during the council's regular meeting on June 4.