City of Terrell, Texas

 

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Mayor Hal Richards

Q. - What is it going to take to get a city ordinance passed to require all pawn shops and the like registered with online law enforcement. After having some items stolen from my parents, I was informed that we do not require this as do nearly all other cities to our west. I was told that there is no cost to the city. The thiefs know this.

Answer -We did some research on your question and I would like to provide the following information.

 

The only site we are aware of is a commercial for-profit site, Leads Online.
It is not free to us. We pay about $1500 per year for access. Pawn brokers do not have to pay to post their items but they do have to pay the cost of the technology and labor to do upload information. If we enacted an ordinance that required them to upload information we would be requiring financial support for Leads Online. We are not aware of a city that has such an ordinance.

 

The Texas Pawn Shop Act does not require a "dealer of second-hand property" to upload into any database the descriptions of items of property purchased or pawned by that dealer but it does require them to keep records and make them available to police as needed. One of our three pawn brokers in Terrell upload to Leads Online but Chief Lay tells me that all of them make their records available to TPD when asked.

 

It will always be difficult to recover items that are difficult to identify.
The majority of the stolen items pawned in pawn shops are items of a non-descript type with no serial number to positively identify it, such as "man's gold ring". As long as there are "second-hand" dealers there is going to be a means of liquidating such non-descript stolen property.

 

Rather than rely on a commercial enterprise to provide a data base, many interested in law enforcement have proposed a state wide data base and a requirement that all pawn brokers maintain their inventory on this database. The pawn brokers have a powerful lobby and have resisted such a law. This seems like a reasonable approach to me and I will take it up with Senator Deuell and Representative Brown.

 

Sincerely,

 

Hal Richards, Mayor

 

 

 

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City of Terrell
201 East Nash St.
P.O. Box 310

Terrell, Texas 75160
972-551-6600
Metro 972-524-3332
Fax 972-551-6682

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