TPD Wants to Regulate Second Hand Stores

Feb 14, 2014

Credit Tulsa Police-Facebook

Tulsa Police want to expand the law regulating pawn shops, metal recyclers and jewelry buyers to cover second hand stores.

Sgt. Shellie Sibert said second hand stores are probably the city's most significant market for stolen property.

"Because it's so diverse, when you talk about second hand stores," Sibert said. "I mean, you have electronics, you have sporting goods, you have musical instruments. You have a variety of markets."

The law would apply to a variety of stores that buy from the public, including places like GameStop, Retool and Play It Again Sports. Sibert said criminals have started turning to these places for one main reason.

"They know it's unregulated," she said. "It's easy to get cash. No one's looking at the secondary markets. The information's not flowing into the police department like it does at pawn shops or at gold and gem places."

Expanding the law means businesses would need to be licensed and report transactions to TPD, and customers would have to provide identification and contact information. Cities with similar laws assess a built-in transaction fee to cover an electronic reporting system.

It may take the city a month to draft the law. It would not apply to charitable thrift stores, like the Salvation Army.