Merchants question new law

"They're trying to protect the people in the town, and that's what a merchant, like me, wanted," he said. "You will get with some merchants that they don't want to accept they have an issue, and that it has to be resolved."

Heider said that he is doing everything he can to make the law workable for all the merchants. Before the public hearing that took place on March 25, he said he asked the board not to vote on the law.

"We have tried to minimize some stuff in the law so we're trying not to overburden the merchant," he said. "I don't want to make an unworkable law."

Heider said he understands that there will be more work involved for the merchants under the new law, but it will ultimately be a valuable tool in recovering stolen property. Sending the reports electronically is something Heider said would be acceptable.

Some of the jewelers suggested that instead of a written record of the items received, a photo of could be sent to the department, a solution Heider said would not work because it would be hard to process the photo between departments.

"I think the happiness lies somewhere in between everything," he said. "We don't want them to hire extra people or make them do extra work. We think they're doing a lot of what we asked already. So, we're going to be much more proactive when forwarding them what we have so they can do a better job of looking at what has been stolen."

The department will fax a list of reported stolen property to all of the dealers by 9 a.m. each morning.

One issue that all of those in attendance had with the law was it appeared to require that all employees have a license as a merchant. Magguilli said that is not the case, and that only the business would have to have a license.

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