- Associated Press - Friday, April 27, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Omaha officials are considering a proposal that would require some secondhand stores to digitize their purchases and sales records of certain items.

The proposed ordinance intends to help police pinpoint stolen property and track thieves, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

The proposal would apply to cash-for-gold operations and businesses with a trade-in component, such as a bike store selling used gear. The ordinance wouldn’t extend to nonprofits like Goodwill.

Stores would have to electronically report data on certain items, including gold and silver, jewelry, guns, music instruments and electronics. The city will pay investigation service LeadsOnline to collect the data.

The ordinance targets items that are most frequently reported stolen, said City Councilman Pete Festersen. The proposal builds off a 2015 ordinance that requires similar digital tracking at pawn shops and salvage yards, he said.

Omaha Bicycle Co. owner Sarah Johnson said she’s grateful for efforts to keep people from stealing and re-selling bikes. But she understands some concerns over imposing additional responsibilities on business owners, she said.

The ordinance would require businesses to take digital photos of the seller and items, as well as hold an item for two weeks before selling it, she said.

“I wish there was a solution that just made people more honest,” Johnson said. “Hopefully (the new ordinance) will keep more bikes with their owners.”

Festersen said he doesn’t want the measure to be intrusive for business owners.

“We’ve worked hard to find the right balance … while still giving police the tools they need to deter crime and return stolen goods to the public,” he said.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held next week.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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