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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,
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
It will always be difficult to recover items that are difficult
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
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.
Hal Richards, Mayor