Police want 2nd-hand shop under pawnshop law

LACONIA — Police are looking to put some more teeth into the city's pawnshop ordinance by adding secondhand merchandise dealers to the list of businesses that must report daily to them.

Only secondhand dealers who buy merchandise from the general public would be included.

The proposed ordinance, that must be approved by the Laconia Licensing Board and approved by the City Council, stemmed in part from a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) project on non-retail crime.

"The more strict it is, the better protected everybody is," said Patrol Officer Lindsey Legere who along with Det. Dan Carson spoke yesterday to the Police Commission about non-retail theft and how to prevent it.

The non-retail theft category for the purposes of the POP project includes thefts from cars, homes, and other personal business, burglary, and robbery.

The proposed ordinance would stiffen the record keeping requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers by requiring them to record the date and time of the purchase; the amount of money or loan and interest rate on each exchange; the name and address of seller or pledger; the type of article, the brand name, serial number, and model number of the item, if applicable; and the color and finish including any other identifying marks and engravings.

As it applies to jewelry, if passed, the new ordinance would require the type of metal, the kind of stones, and the karat weight (if known) of each item.

All records would be kept on file for seven years and property must be maintained in its original condition for the 14-day waiting period. All property would be kept on the store premises.

Police are also recommending that each seller or pledger present a valid drivers license or other form of government identification. All identification must be issued within the last five years and the dealer must record the information on the record sheet and attach a copy of it to the transaction record.

Many of the above provisions already exist under the state laws that govern and regulate pawnshops and second-hand dealers and police said the modeled their proposed ordinance after ones already in Manchester and Nashua.

Capt. Bill Clary said the proposed ordinance will be presented to the Licensing Board sometime in January and will likely undergo a legal review by the City Attorney before it moves forward to the City Council.

NOTES: Outgoing Mayor Mike Seymour stopped by to thank the Laconia Police and the Police Commissioners for all the help they had given him during his two terms.

He said the mayor doesn't have much of a direct impact on the police but the police have a direct impact on the mayor, saying his desk was the "last stop."

"During my four years, I'm proud to say not one issue has come from the Laconia Police Department," Seymour said, adding that the majority of the feedback he got was about how good the city Police Department is.

"I deeply appreciate and honor you for the work you have done," he said.