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Bolivar Board Of Aldermen To Consider 'Pawn' Ordinance

By Lynne Robert

July 22, 2014

More than a dozen pawn and consignment shop owners in Bolivar will be watching the Board of Aldermen closely Tuesday as it gets ready to discuss an ordinance requiring second-hand stores to catalog some of their items online.

"We're talking about items of greater value that could be easily stolen and pawned," City Administrator Darin Chappell told KTTS News. "The police department would like these store owners to catalog things like old and rare coins, jewelry, firearms, and high-end electronic equipment."

The ordinance would require consignment shops to enter those items into a nationwide database called "LeadsOnline," which the city already pays to access.

Police Chief Mark Webb, who approached the board about the idea at a previous meeting, said the goal is to curb theft in and around the city of Bolivar. Chappell echoed Webb's reasoning. "We, like most cities, are just trying to find ways to make it more difficult and less tempting for criminals to sell stolen goods here."

When the ordinance was presented last year, it was unpopular among all 17 consignment-type businesses in Bolivar. Opponents have argued that the measure is unnecessary and the city shouldn't tell people how to run their business. Supporters of the measure believe an online database is just another tool officers can use to recover stolen property.

"I can see both sides," Chappell said. "The dilemma arises when you consider whose property rights to protect. You have businesses that don't want the government infringing on their rights, which I completely understand. But, you also have the rights of crime victims. Those issues have to be weighed against each other to determine which is the greater burden."

The board meets at 6:30 p.m.


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