- Associated Press - Saturday, December 20, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Pawn shop owners in Medford are opposing a proposal that would require photos of all purchased items to help police identify stolen goods.

The City Council on Thursday delayed implementation of the photo requirement for three months, but the council did approve other rules for pawn shops, the Medford Mail Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1H1yx3w ).

Pawn shop owners say taking photos of all the items and uploading them into the police computer system would be a massive undertaking and too onerous, given the many transactions they do each day.

But police officials say they’re not expecting separate photos of each item; a single photo could portray several items. And they say many pawn shops already take and post photos of items for sale on eBay.

“In a sense, they are already doing it,” said Medford police Sgt. Brent Mak.

The photo requirement also would only pertain to items sold to the pawn shops, not items pawned.

Medford police say they have received reports of 647 items stolen this year through mid-December, and they have recovered 520 items. Some of those recoveries were thanks to pawn shops that already take photos and shared them with police, Mak said.

Keanon Ferguson, part owner of All-Star Pawn, said a photo won’t always help in verifying whether an item actually belongs to someone, because many rings and other jewelry look very similar.

The City Council did approve a 15-day hold period on items such as jewelry and gold. Currently, shops must keep the items for five days. After that, they are usually melted.

Police say they need more time to do their theft investigations. Other Oregon cities already require holding items for up to 30 days.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/


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