Proposed ordinance on the sale of second-hand goods

The Monroe County Office of the District Attorney is supporting the adoption, by all townships and boroughs within Monroe County, the attached proposed ordinance regulating pawn shops, second-hand shops, precious metal dealers, and scrap yards.  

The District Attorney's Office currently receives purchase information from businesses who deal in the buying of precious metals (usually jewelry stores and pawn shops).  We receive paper photocopies of those sales records irregularly from these businesses.  It is burdensome to go through these records when looking for stolen jewelry or burglary suspects identified through investigation as pawning stolen jewelry.  A police officer (and occasionally the victim) must come to our office and go through thousands of photocopies in the hope of identifying stolen jewelry or verifying that a suspect sold stolen jewelry.

There is already a law requiring buyers of precious metals register all sales with the District Attorney's Office (http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/037/chapter501/chap501toc.html). However, there is no law on the books requiring pawn shops, second-hand stores, or scrap yards register sales of other second hand goods.  A large percentage of stolen merchandise is sold through these shops.

The attached proposed ordinance will help close the information gap and assist law enforcement agencies identify stolen merchandise and the seller.  This ordinance, in addition to requiring buyers of precious metals register sales on our database within 24 hours of a purchase/sale, also requires that second-hand shops, pawn shops, and scrap metal dealers register their purchases of home electronics, audio/visual equipment, cell phones, scales, computers, computer hardware, typewriters, scanners, sporting goods, antiques, tools, televisions, digital equipment, car stereos, and other valuable articles.

Although townships and boroughs have the authority to enforce the proposed ordinance, our office will monitor and enforce any violations of this ordinance.  This should alleviate any concerns from township officials regarding the cost or additional workload they might incur as the result of its passage.

This proposed ordinance would not apply to individuals selling their own items at yard sales or flea markets.

An editable MSWord copy of this proposed ordinance can be downloaded from the sidebar to the right.

Any assistance you may be able to provide as a municipal leader in support of this proposed ordinance will be greatly appreciated.  If you have any questions regarding the proposed ordinance or the database please contact me at 570-517-3109.

Respectfully,

Chief County Detective Eric J. Kerchner
Office of the District Attorney | Monroe County Drug Task Force
610 Monroe St - Suite 126, Stroudsburg PA 18360-2275
Desk: 570-517-3109 | Fax: 570-517-3825
email: ekerchner@monroecountypa.gov