New Niagara County pawn shop law aims to make it harder for thieves to sell stolen items

By Kaley Lynch

December 5, 2018

NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) – A new Niagara County law aims to make it more difficult for stolen items to be sold to secondhand dealers.

The “Niagara County Pawn Law” creates a new licensing and reporting program for property acquired by pawnbrokers, jewelry and coin exchange dealers, junk dealers and other secondhand dealers in the county.

The legislation creates these regulations:

Requires background checks and licensing of all pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers, junk dealers, scrap processors, jewelry, precious metals and coin exchange dealers in the County of Niagara

Prohibits dealers from purchasing any items from an individual under the age of 18

Requires dealers to wait a minimum of 14 days before destroying or disposing of any items and allows the Sheriff to extend that period for up to 90 additional days

Requires dealers to verify the identification and contact information of all customers and maintain accurate, detailed, and photographic records of all items collected an sold

Requires dealers to report all items collected and sold to LEADS online

Requires all items established to have been stolen to be turned over to local law enforcement

“This new law will implement the strongest regulations in Niagara County in deterring those who wish to profit from their crimes, and helping those who have been victimized recover their stolen property,” Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour said in a statement Wednesday. “It will give us the ability to recover stolen property and enhance our investigations by removing anonymity from transactions at these businesses.”