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Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 7:58am

Gainesville Eyes Pawnshop Crackdown

Gainesville's city council has approved the first reading of an ordinance aimed at tracking stolen goods that end up at pawnshops.

The Times of Gainesville reports that the proposed ordinance would require pawnshops to keep an electronic database of merchandise and sellers.

Gainesville Police Chief Brian Kelly told council members that the new guidelines would help authorities track down stolen items. He said it would speed investigations, since investigators now have to examine hand-written reports instead of quickly searching a database.

William Lapointe, owner of Lanier Jewelry and Loan, told the council he strongly favors an electronic database, but the cost of the system is a concern. He also expressed concerns about another aspect of the proposed ordinance -- requiring pawn shop employees to obtain permits to work there.

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