Pawn shops brace for tougher regulations - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Pawn shops brace for tougher regulations

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Pawn shops in Virginia are getting ready for tougher regulations, to make sure no one tries to sell stolen goods. Pawn shops will now be required to keep photo ID's of anyone pawning or selling off items, on file for police. The new bill also calls for nothing to be accepted, if serial numbers are missing.

George Thomas, a longtime employee at Friedman's Loans in Richmond, says heisted electronics can be easy to spot if serial numbers are clearly marred.

"You'll see something where somebody's taken a file or a finger nail clipper and they'll try to scratch out the serial number on the bottom," described Thomas of some items customers have tried to pawn. Friedman's Loans owner John Goodman says he already won't accept anything with missing numbers.

However, the new legislation will require pawn shops across the state will be required to be just as picky, come July 1st. Democratic State Delegate Mamye Bacote sponsored the bill. In a previous interview, Bacote told NBC12 that investigators needed help tracking down stolen items.

"The state police asked us to do this," said Bacote.

Pawn shops are already required to send over a full list to police of all the items they take in, every day. Now, customers will also be required to have a photo ID scanned, and stored, for two years.

Like many pawn shops, Goodman also takes his own pictures.

"We have a database where we put in the customer's name, their address, all the pertinent ID information. We scan a picture of the ID. We take a photo of them," described Goodman of the process.

The bill originally aimed for pawn shops to photograph every single item they received. However, that idea was dropped since sending thousands of pictures to police every day would likely overwhelm the system.

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