Rotterdam pens pawn shop rules

Law aims to help police recover stolen item and make arrests

— The Rotterdam Town Board will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, April 11, on a new local law that would regulate the acceptance and sale of secondhand items. The legislation’s introduction follows a string of burglaries around town.

“It is a good thing for the town from the enforcement value,” Supervisor Harry Buffardi said. “The police department made a request to get this moving along as quickly as they can.”

After the board’s Wednesday, March 28, meeting, Town Attorney Kate McGuirl said the final version of the secondhand dealers law would be released five days before the hearing, after The Spotlight went to press. She would not release a draft of the law before then.

When an electronic copy of the law is sent to The Spotlight there will be a link to download the document posted within this story.

Police Chief James Hamilton provided an overview of what the law entails after the March 28 meeting and said it would be an important resource in recovering stolen property.

Secondhand dealers would have to hold an item for five days before selling or melting down the item and send a daily report to police of any items received. Identification would need to be presented and recorded from anyone bringing an item into a store. Businesses would only be allowed to hold certain hours of operation, and police would be able to inspect the records of a business during regular hours.

Secondhand dealers would also have to acquire an annual license from the town, which would cost $150. There would also be fines associated with not complying with the law, including the suspension of the license.

“We feel that this local law will go a long way to help us solve more burglaries and recover more stolen property and make sure that these secondhand dealers are abiding by the law,” Hamilton said.

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