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(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – In an effort to help police more efficiently monitor transactions at cash-for-gold and secondhand goods stores in Cherry Hill, Township officials are instituting new licensing and reporting requirements for all secondhand-goods dealers.
A measure adopted by Township Council on Feb. 11 establishes an annual license for cash-for-gold stores, pawn shops, and other merchants who deal primarily in the sale of secondhand goods. It also requires that those businesses install special computer software that interfaces directly with the Cherry Hill Police Department, a tool that will free up police manpower and make it easier to track stolen items.
Mayor Chuck Cahn said that the recent growth of the cash-for-gold sector prompted a need for greater accountability by business owners. Five years ago, there were just five cash-for-gold stores in the Township; today, there are 27. This has increased the need for police officers to monitor transactions for stolen goods that might turn up as pawned or sold.
“Too often, the current system creates a lag time that makes recovering those items almost impossible – and more importantly, it wastes valuable police time and resources,” Cahn said. “We are now taking measures to fix that.”
Secondhand dealers currently follow state law, which requires that transaction records be sent to local police within one week. But those records often take the form of paper receipts, which take days for officers to sort and enter into the computer system. The new regulations make it easier for local merchants and law enforcement to work together to track items as they come in.
“This is efficiency at its best – and in the end, it’s a win-win for businesses, law enforcement, and residents,” Cahn said.
Council President David Fleisher said the measure would protect the integrity of reputable businesses, while sending a message to anyone looking to unload stolen items in local shops.
“Thugs who peddle stolen goods have no place in Cherry Hill,” Fleisher said. “If you’re a thief looking to make money on things that aren’t yours, we are going to catch you.”