ENM approves ordinances concerning pawnbrokers

By: 
Patrick Fisher, pfisher@newpraguetimes.com

The Elko New Market City Council approved the adoption of two ordinances that deal with pawnbrokers and precious metal dealers in the community.

The ordinance grew out of an inquiry in the last year regarding city regulations about pawnshops. City staff found that there were no city regulations. On September 24, 2020 the city council put a moratorium in place on the establishment of pawnshops in the city. The council then directed city staff and the city’s Planning Commission to study pawnshops and appropriate city controls. The moratorium was for one year and expired on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Chief Brady Juell detailed that with his past experience and in researching the issue that pawnshops can be “fences” as a legal way to turn stolen items to cash. A problem is that people can trade in articles that don’t have serial numbers and there’s no way to tell if it is personal property or not. He noted this was from a professional viewpoint. He added that some people can use the trading of stolen items for cash to support a drug habit.

Pawnshops also have to register their inventory with local police departments, which puts a huge demand on the shops.

For police departments it can also be a drain on time and resources. If a town has a pawnshop, other law enforcement departments will call the police department in a town that has a pawnshop asking to check the inventory for any possible items that could be stolen. Chief Juell explained that when someone steals an object they will pawn it in another town.

Under the proposed ordinances there was one...

To see more on this story pick up the October 21, 2021 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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