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The cost of waiting

Secondhand dealers law debated as Rotterdam storeowners balk at waiting period and detailed report requirements

Sheryll Hoffman, owner of JM Jewelers on Mariaville Road in Rotterdam, inspects jewelry recently taken in on Tuesday, April 17. Hoffman would fall under a proposed new town law regulating secondhand dealers.

Sheryll Hoffman, owner of JM Jewelers on Mariaville Road in Rotterdam, inspects jewelry recently taken in on Tuesday, April 17. Hoffman would fall under a proposed new town law regulating secondhand dealers. Photo by John Purcell.

— “To do that amount of paperwork, in all fairness to us secondhand dealers, is almost impossible,” she said.

She said reports from the police department can also be very vague.

“When we are given that list and that list is very vague it is almost impossible … to say whether I may have taken (a stolen item) in,” she said. “I am all for descriptions, I am all for taking documentation, but there is also a fine line to that.”

Buffardi said after the meeting there are ongoing discussions on the detailed accounting required of buyers, but he said accountability and being able to recover items is an aspect “everyone is really strong on.” He didn’t foresee any changes being made to that portion of the law.

“We see this as a potentially valuable tool for us in solving crimes and thereby preventing crimes and probably most importantly from our perspective is giving us the ability to return stolen property,” Deputy Police Chief William Manikas said. “I certainly understand the concerns raised by most of the business owners and I don’t think we would be admittedly opposed to some minor modifications.”

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