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Upper Moreland OKs service for tracking stolen items

February 11, 2014

Thieves looking to pawn goods in Upper Moreland take heed: the township will subscribe to an electronic system that police say can easily track stolen items.

Under the ordinance, which the Upper Moreland commissioners adopted Monday night, so-called junk dealers, antiques resellers, cash for gold stores and pawn shops would pay a $150 or $200 registration fee, which, according to Upper Moreland police Chief Michael Murphy, would allow law enforcement to "search in a matter of seconds" an electronic database for stolen and pawned items.

Murphy told the governing body that the $2,380 expense for enrollment in the nationwide electronic reporting system will dramatically decrease the time police spend looking through paper records.

Many regional law enforcement agencies and municipalities adopting similar ordinances were the driving forces behind creation of the ordinance, Murphy said.

"By utilizing this particular system that we're working with from another municipality we were able to recover over $20,000 in stolen computers," Murphy said.

The registration fees "help offset some" of the expense, Murphy said, adding that, "it's not even going to come close" to covering the entire expense.

In other business, the commissioners adopted a flood plain management ordinance and a storm water management ordinance following public hearings which drew no public comment.

Both of the ordinances were mandated by the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to Kate Harper, the township's attorney.

Township engineer Erik Garton told the commissioners that adoption of the flood plain management ordinance was required in order for Upper Moreland to participate in the flood insurance plan.

The ordinance outlines, "what you're allowed to do in the flood plain, what you're not allowed to do in the flood plain," Garton said.

"It's all designed to avoid development in the flood plain," Harper said.

In terms of the storm water ordinance, Garton said that the new regulation is "just as strict as it was before."

The commissioners also set March 3 at 7 p.m. for a public hearing to consider rezoning 4205 Shoemaker Road from R-1 to an R-3 district.

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