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5/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman pawnbroker says plan treats customers like criminals

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A proposed pawnshop ticket tracking system would treat customers like criminals and raise costs for pawnbrokers, one opponent of the system said.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors will consider adding a dollar per transaction fee to cover the cost of a new pawn ticket tracking system during a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St.

Jerry Homer owns the two Pawn World shops in Kingman and is protesting the new system.

"Our customers are not criminals and should not be treated like one. Most of our customers are repeat customers that are trying to get by month to month," he said in a letter to the Board. The cost to install, maintain and run the system as well as pay for the transaction fee would be too much, Homer said.

"I am in support of the main part of this ordinance in helping law enforcement by reporting to LeadsOnLine. However, I cannot understand why the Mohave County Sheriff's Office did not consult any of the pawnshop owners on how this ordinance would affect our customers or our business," he said.

Arizona Revised Statutes allow law enforcement agencies to charge a fee for processing pawn tickets. This would be the first time the Mohave County Sheriff's Office has charged a fee for pawn tickets.

MCSO first introduced the LeadsOnLine system to the Board of Supervisors in February. The new system is accessed through the Internet and requires the name, address and a photo of a customer, along with photos of the pawned item and a customer's fingerprint, which makes it easier to recover stolen property and track down suspects, even if the stolen item is pawned out of state, Mohave County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jim McCabe explained in February.

In his letter to the Board, Homer states that his two pawns shops handle around 12,000 pawn tickets a year. He typically has customers lined up inside his shops to the door.

Pawnshops in Mohave County are already required to record the information from a customer's picture ID, get a copy of the customers right thumb print and write down a detailed description of the merchandise, he said. Adding digital photos and thumbprints to the mix would only increase the amount of time required to process a pawn ticket.

Also, several communities that use LeadsOnLine - including Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson and Las Vegas - don't require photos and have no problem tracking down stolen items. The only county in Arizona that does require pictures is Navajo County, he said.

The Kingman Police Department already charges a $3 per ticket fee. The sheriff's fee would increase the total per ticket fee Homer would have to pay to $4.

He also pays MCSO $1,000 a year for a pawnbroker's license.

Homer is recommending the Board reduce the fee from the sheriff's office to 50 cents per transaction.

"I will eat the 50 cents a ticket fee and pay it myself, but I cannot afford the $1 a ticket fee. So this would be added to my customers' cost," he said. Even at 50 cents a ticket, Homer said he would still be paying $7,000 a year for a subscription that will only cost the county $6,000 a year.

In February, McCabe said a subscription to LeadsOnLine would cost approximately $6,000, but that doesn't include the cost for dispatchers to input the information into the system and for detectives to check and double check the system.

"This is not a profit maker," McCabe said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Just another way for the local government to take more and more money that they didnt earn, out of a private businessmans pocket!! So sick!!

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: J J

"The cost to install, maintain and run the system as well as pay for the transaction fee would be too much, Homer said"... as his wife drives off in her $90k Jaguar coupe, and he in their $60k SUV

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Article comment by: To anonymous

You are a smart one, anonymous. Too bad the rest of our country isn't smart enough to figure that out.

The point of creating fees as opposed to taxes is because taxes are progressive -- and are based on your ability to pay.

But fees aren't income based --- the richest man will pay the same fee as the poorest man.

$25.00 to a rich man is nothing - but $25.00 to a poor man can mean not buying groceries that week.

Abraham Lincoln based his progressive income tax on the biblical progressive tax tithing, which is done to make sure nobody is overburdened, and to ensure that those who have gained the most benefit from our society pay back a share that is equal to the size of their blessings.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

@anonymous, show me proof your claim that Repubs. call this a fee while Dems. call it a tax. I want proof not only in this county but for all fees/taxes in the USA.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

I feel so sorry for the pawnbrokers that feel it is a criminal act to ask them to account for the items they buy. Have you ever been on the other side? Searching for items stolen from your home and having pawnbrokers tell you I know nothing about who I bought this from? How many citizens have come home to find their items gone and no way to get them back because pawnbrokers do not keep records. I for one have had enough of my things stolen from this community and cannot get themback due to pawnbrokers.Many of us have sentimental jewlery stolen, coins, pieces of silver or china and all we can do it pay higher insurance rates because we get no help from pawnbrokers. Glad you can make a living off the misery of some but you are abetting criminals.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Wait More New Taxes

Wait Wait just a darn minuet,

That sounds like another tax by our Republican politicians. When are you guns and god fanatics going to wake up? The Republicans you keep voting in are taxing you to the poor house.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Chris B

Hmm, not a profit maker? It just covers expenses instead which is already done by tax payers of Mohave county and returns the cost to local businesses which are already suffering in a depressed economy. That makes complete sense doesn't it? Not really, any educated economist will tell you that fees to local businesses, like taxing the residents should never be increased during any kind of shortfall on the economy. All this will do, like the Arizona legislatures weak attempt at making credit card bills easier to sue for ( read the truth in lending act, you will see that the statute of limitations is still 3 years ), is continue to hamper the economy's recovery and make it more expensive for struggling people to pay their bills. I suppose that is ok to the county government, now they can build more over priced falling apart buildings.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Dennis Jablonski

Perhaps if our economy was better, fewer people would be obliged to 'get by' by STEALING. I have been a victim myself. If this would indeed help capture and prosecute these thieves, then I am all for it!

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

Seriously? Another fee on the back of a local business person. When will enough be enough?

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: desert dweller

More govt b.s.! just another gimmick to get money, they could care less about the transactions! Typical govt...why on earth would they actually talk to the people affected by this....I mean, for politicians, that would be sacrilegious!

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: cost of doing business

When gas goes up transport is more costly, restaurants often pay more for items due to farming issues. Looks like the pawn shops will now get a dose of reality, they did not complain when the economy tanked and "customers were lined up to the doors". It's a different world..adjust.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Kman inKingman

It is very likely that the majority of customers are just what is described in the article - honest and making ends meet. It is also known that pawning is used by a particular element as way to move stolen goods and for firearms to change hands and end up in the wrong hands. Freedom and firearm rights are a good thing but so is reigning in crime. Split the fee with the customers. Good, honest folks pawning have nothing to worry about and should not be offended by this system - it is not after them.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: MyStuff Is Mine

I've been to both his pawn shops and have bought quite a few items. Jerry and his staff are real nice people but he has to understand that the theft rate has skyrocketed over the years. Home burglaries and car break-ins are an easy source of cash for the non-working drug using scum. They need to sell the items and pawn shops along with Craigslist are the two easiest ways. The $1 fee to MCSO seems small when Kingman is getting $3. I say split the $4, $2 to the KPD and $2 to the MCSO. I also think that both of them should publish a current list of stolen items updated daily. This way when I see a Canon model 123 camera on the list and one on Craigslist I can call them. This would lighten the load on the cyber-crime units by getting the public involved. The honest folks who are using the pawn shop to get by will have to understand that the costs to bring theft under control is much higher than the $4 they are contributing. And, Jerry, stop whining about the $1000 a year license fee .. that's the cost of doing business and you do good business.. contribute to the problem of theft, don't fight it.

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

It is amusing how democrats favor raising taxes, republicans do to they just hide it as a fee, both are levied against those doing business or commerce and both come out of a citizens wallet or purse! Which is more honest calling a tax a tax or hiding it as a fee?

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: Avg Joe

Just another prime example of politicians punishing the law abiding citizens. What's wrong with these idiots!

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