The Whitehall city council recently approved an ordinance which will require pawn brokers to electronically report transactions for items they have received to help law enforcement in tracking and retrieving stolen property.
The ordinance was approved at the council’s Dec. 18 meeting.
Whitehall Police Chief Roger Squiers said the electronic reporting, through a computer program, “SafeReporting,” will allow easy access to the information for law enforcement.
Other communities in the county are planning to join SafeReporting.
Currently, Squiers said pawn shop owners, second hand or junk dealers and precious metal/gem dealers are required, by state statute, to keep detailed records of all articles received during the course of business and send a copy of all such records to law enforcement.
Squiers said the electronic reporting done right at the place of business, will reduce the amount of paperwork for the business owners.
The electronic reporting will also give easy access to the pawn shop records to area police departments who may be searching for stolen property in their investigations.
Violations of the new ordinance carry a monetary fine. The first offense has a $25 fine, the fine for a second offense is $50 and a third offense fine is $100.
Whitehall has only one pawn shop located within its city limits - Whitehall Pawn & Coin, at 614 E. Colby Street.