New rules proposed for Delaware pawn shops

Pawn shops in Delaware would be required to photograph jewelry they purchase as part of an effort to combat theft.  

The state Senate unanimously approved legislation requiring pawn shops, scrap dealers and other secondhand stores to keep pictures of jewelry they purchase for one year.  Senator David Sokola, D- Newark, is sponsoring the bill.  He says these stores already keep detailed written records of what they buy and who they buy from, this will just add a photographic element to those records.

“The new law just adds another level of positive identification for stolen goods, especially for family heirlooms,” Sokola said.  “Pawn brokers and scrap metal dealers are honest businesses and they’re working hard to shed the image that they have from popular culture that they’re fences for crooks, so I’m positive they’ll support this.”

The goal is to help police better track valuables that have been stolen.  “If people follow the advice of their insurance companies and photograph their valuables, this will be an important aid in helping law enforcement recover their stolen property and prosecute thieves who stole it,” Sokola said.

If approved by the House and signed by Governor Markell, Delaware would become the eleventh state to enact such a requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

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