Revised pawnshop ordinance still has shop owners concerned

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It’s a new proposal designed to help fight property crimes. Albuquerque City Council is looking to clamp down on thieves taking their stolen loot to pawnshops — but this isn’t exactly what pawnshops had in mind.

Valerie Davis is the owner of Land of Entrapment Pawnshop near Eubank and Indian School. She’s also the president of the Albuquerque Pawnbrokers Association.

Davis says the pawnbroker ordinance, introduced by City Councilor Diane Gibson, is putting her business in a bad spot.

“The current ordinance does not include other second-hand dealers, which are people who purchase used items throughout the city. There’s hundreds of businesses,” she said.

Back in August, Councilor Gibson proposed a different version, by giving shop owners three days to confirm their items are not stolen, then mailing a check to the seller.

She also wanted to require all owners to thumbprint all sellers. Now, she’s changed a few things by asking owners to take pictures of the seller and item, along with their fingerprints.

“We have been working on this updated amendment with both APD and organized crime unit,” said Councilor Gibson.

Davis says she’s been working to help write the ordinance and doesn’t agree with Councilor Gibson’s vision.

“Requiring us to take mug shots, fingerprints, and photos of items for our entire customer base, we’re really criminalizing everybody before a crime’s even committed,” Davis said.

Councilor Gibson says she’s only trying to help curb the property crime.

“I’m very sorry to hear them say that because obviously, that is not our intent,” she said.

Davis says they already have to submit a report of all their items to APD daily. If this ordinance passes, it would require them to include pictures and thumbprints.

Councilor Gibson says this ordinance is just a tool to give to police because it’s what they’ve been asking for sometime now.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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