1. Doug Deal says:

    For people buying the stuff, it is rediculous. For people selling to the pawn shop, it doesn’t go far enough.

    Pawn shops are a big reason why there is so much theft. With how inexpensive digital photography is, every seller of any item worth more than a certain amount (as valued by what the pawn shop sells it for) should be photgraphed and kept on file with a copy of a valid photo id.

    If a pawn shop has stolen merchandise on site or sells stolen merchandise that doesn’t have this due diligence, he should go to jail on a theft by receiving charge.

    If a pawn shop owner then thinks that he is doing such legitimate business, he would have nothing to fear and can simply ignore the requirements.

  2. griftdrift says:

    “Pawn shops are a big reason why there is so much theft. With how inexpensive digital photography is, every seller of any item worth more than a certain amount (as valued by what the pawn shop sells it for) should be photgraphed and kept on file with a copy of a valid photo id.”


    The free market at work.

  3. Doug Deal says:


    I do not think my idea is anti free market as you suggest. I am not saying that people would be forced to do it. If they buy legitimate good, and are confident that they are legitimate good, they are free and clear.

    However, if you have stolen merchandise for sale, and you get caught trying to sell it, and it was something that you did not do due diligence to examine where it came from, you are no better than the thief.

    People do not sell their heir loom diamond rings for $5, unless something suspicious is happening. Similarly, people in beat up old pickup trucks with an obvious meth habit don’t sell man-hole covers or new copper wire at scrap metal prices unless they have stolen it.

  4. Game Fan says:

    I wonder how active the cops are at monitoring these pawn shops. Maybe that should be a starting point rather than saddling these small businesses with more regulation. The only instances I’m aware of where pawn shops were actually checked for stolen property (and it was recovered) was when the people/friends/private investigators did the leg work. Meanwhile is there a database for item/serial #? How about rewards/financial incentives for catching sh-tbags? This is politicians and bureaucrats we’re talking about. They don’t really handle the basics very well.

  5. Game Fan says:

    This was probably lobbied for by the big boys like “Cash America” to eliminate the competition (right after they got a fancy new computer system)

  6. atlantaman says:

    I agree that for people buying stuff it’s ridiculous, but for sellers it’s an interesting argument. If you have a sector of stores, that sells a disproportionate amount of stolen goods over other retail establishments, how do you balance regulating those stores with the individual rights of the owners?

    Pawn shops are obviously already regulated more than a store that sells new merchandise. Do they need to be regulated further? As someone who has had a number of items stolen over the years, and is highly suspicious the items were sold through pawn shops, my knee jerk reaction is to regulate them further. I try to rationally balance that thought with the private property rights of the owners…most of them I’m sure make a reasonable attempt not to sell stolen merchandise.

    I’d hate for somebody else to throw me into an arbitrary category (of increased regulation or some other disadvantage) based on my occupation, sex, hobby, or skin color.

    As gamefan stated, this could be supported by the big pawn shops chains, because the independent guys will be unable to keep up with the burdens of increased regulation.

  7. griftdrift says:

    I worked in a pawn shop.

    Exactly how the hell am I supposed to tell the difference between someone selling their heirloom ring for $5 (a ridiculous straw man) because its hot or because its a reminder of their asswipe husband who beat the crap out of them on every occasion.

    Private business should not be placed with the burden of criminial investigation. That’s the purview of public safety.

  8. jsm says:

    grift, my brother-in-law runs a pawn shop, and he regularly buys brand new merchandise (mostly electronics & game systems), valuable firearms, jewelry, etc., from people for pennies on the dollar. He knows that, most likely, much of the stuff is either stolen or purchased with a credit card that will not be paid. Since he can’t verify whether something is hot, he treats everything the same, but sees the obvious.

    When a business owner is buying something with reasonable suspicion that it is stolen, should he just turn a blind eye and go on about business? I’m not sure this particular ordinance is the very best solution, but I support measures to identify a perpetrator if someone has a legitimate claim that merchandise in a pawn shop was stolen from him. Let the cops do the investigation, but having some helpful information to get them started is not a bad thing.

    BTW, Game Fan, many cops are regular customers of pawn shops.

  9. griftdrift says:

    Things to get them started:

    The ubiquitous video tape
    Sales records

    There are plenty of ways for the cops to “get started” on an investigation without further burdening small business owners with more regulation and by proxy making them agents of the states.

  10. Doug Deal says:


    Your stand is indefensible.

    As a private citizen, if I went around trying to sell a brand new television (that was stolen, but not by me, I bought it from the guy who stole it) to my neighbors, and the police discover the television is stolen, you better believe I would be charged with theft by receiving. And, if I could not make the case that I obtained it in a legitimate manor, I would be found guilty and sent to jail.

    Why do you think a business man should not face the same consequences?

    I am not suggesting making it a crime to unknowingly sell stolen merchandise when one acts in good faith. But if you are in possession of stolen property, you are de facto receiving stolen merchandise. Unless you have kept a reasonable paper trail in how you came across this merchandise, you should be convicted of it.

    People who do business with crooks are worse than the crooks because it is there money that perpetuates the reason for the crime, the demand for cheap stolen merchandise.

    If a pawn shop owner chooses to not protect himself by logging his transactions (like EVERY legitimate retailer does) it’s his choice, and he should suffer the consequences of being a fence.

  11. griftdrift says:

    ” If a pawn shop owner chooses to not protect himself by logging his transactions (like EVERY legitimate retailer does) it’s his choice, and he should suffer the consequences of being a fence.”

    Ummmmm. And if they don’t they do face the consequences.

  12. Icarus says:


    I think Grift’s point is that there are already a lot of regs that apply specifically to Pawn Shops. Same for metals recycling.

    There was a metal recycler arrested in Fayetteville a few months ago because he wasn’t checking ID’s with his scrap purchases. The article I read about it stated the cops became suspicious of him when they stopped a motorist for a moving violation, and when they asked him (loaded with a pile of scrap copper) where he was headed, he told them. They found it odd that he was passing two others on his way, so they asked him why that buyer. He replied “cause he don’t ask no questions”.

    Pawn shops keep logs and other records of the purchases they make to keep them from being in a theft-by-receiving situation. My understanding is that most of them work with the police fairly well, as it is one of the first places police look when they’re trying to track down stolen property.

  13. Doug Deal says:


    You do not have any idea what you are talking about. My wife is a prosecutor and deals with stolen property cases all of the time, and pretty much that is where the stolen merchandise ends up, if not at the house of someone the victim knows.

    They are not interested in helping police, until they are against the wall, and their records are shoddy at best. But, they make a fairly decent amount of money profitting from crime, and very rarely suffer any consequences for it.

  14. Doug Deal says:


    It is one of the first places they look, and it is pretty much the only place they every find stolen good unless a friend was the thief.

    The only time most pawn shop owners are interested in getting involved in a case is when the thumb of the man is about to come down on them, and from what I heard the records are shoddy at best. I am sorry, this is not a legitimate business practice.

    I am not suggesting additional regulations, but I am asking for prosecution for theft of these people who very well what the heck the are doing when they buy bag loads of small electronics from the same guy ever couple of weeks.

  15. griftdrift says:

    Then DON’T ask for additional regulations. Prosecute under the present statute.

    I’m not asking anything different.

    It’s always amazing how some “conservatives” stance towards government interference changes when it is a business they don’t find “legitimate”.

    Spas, pawn shops, etc.

  16. Doug Deal says:


    It’s always amazing how some “liberals” like to just group everyone they disagree with into one big heep because they are too intellectually lazy to win an argument on its merits.

    I am one of the few people who defended massage parlors, spas, payday loans and title pawns. As repugnant as people may find their businesses, they are not knowlingly helping thieves benefit from their theft of goods.

    I suppose what I call for is not more regulation, but just enforcement of laws that people who weren’t pawn shop owners would run up against if they acted in the same manor. (How would any of us be treated if the cops found a large quantity of small electronics in and out of the original packaging in our trunk that a number of which was reported stolen?)

    I think a definition by our legislature or local governments of what constitutes a reasonable minimum standard for record keeping would be appropriate, so those pawn shop owners that are legitimate can stay protected, but the police can have their paper trail to catch the thief.

  17. Icarus says:

    Quick Grift, tell him there’s no future in nuclear energy and Wind/Solar is the promise of the future.

    That will keep it going for a while.

  18. Doug Deal says:


    It was because I was admonished for wanting to regulate businesses, and I was trying to defend my position as a get tough measure on those that knowingly broke the law or relied on willful ignorance. As we argued, it seemed like our positions were not far apart, but you seemed to have the assumption that I wanted gestapo units to be created that would go to local businesses and check for “papers”.

    My last comment was just a snarky take on your comment where you called me a “conservative” with the quotes.

  19. griftdrift says:

    No. Doug unless you tell me different our positions are exactly the same. We both don’t want additional regulations but want the current law enforced.

    The only difference may be our amount of thirst to have them enforced.

  20. Doug Deal says:


    You are right there. I do have quite a bit of thirst for the enforcement.

    Being a victim of at least *6 acts of theft, and seeing how meth heads where my father-in-law lives have slowly picked apart his large power tools one by one, I have seen how this kind of crime effects people.

    2 Cases of having a bike stolen as a child

    Once at Georgia Tech having a boat load of change stolen out of my console as well as a non functional cd player

    Three times in downtown Macon
    – Once losing a $300 PDA phone
    – Once losing a LED flashlight, two charger units for various small electronics and a usb memory card
    – Once losing two non-working cell phones (switched carriers) a power inverter for my cigarette lighter, one shoe and the ball out of a computer mouse. I think the last one was just gratuitous.

  21. Game Fan says:

    Go after the fences (the folks that are the worst perpetrators) How about cops that get up in the morning and decide they’re going to go after something bigger the common street criminal? In this country all we have is cops tackling crack heads for the most part. There’s no Serpicos.

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