Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/10/2002 01:18 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 472 - PAWNBROKERS/SECONDHAND DEALERS                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0991                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  announced that the  last order of  business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 472, "An  Act relating to persons  who buy and                                                               
sell secondhand  articles and to  certain persons who  lend money                                                               
on  secondhand  articles."    [Before   the  committee  was  CSHB
472(L&C).]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 1021                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LAURA  ACHEE, Staff  to Representative  Joe  Green, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  sponsor, on  behalf of  Representative Green,  said                                                               
that under  current statute,  all secondhand  dealers -  which is                                                               
defined  as  anyone  in  the   business  of  buying  and  selling                                                               
secondhand  articles or  lending money  on secondhand  articles -                                                               
are required  to keep a record  of every item that  they purchase                                                               
or take  in pawn, and as  part of that record,  they are required                                                               
to obtain  the name,  age, address, and  signature of  the person                                                               
selling  the item.    She  explained that  HB  472 requires  that                                                               
businesses regulated  under this proposed statute  provide weekly                                                               
reports of those records to  their local police departments.  She                                                               
said the  reason Representative  Green sponsored  HB 472  is that                                                               
items stolen in a particular  community don't always stay there -                                                               
sometimes  items  go  to  other  communities;  therefore,  it  is                                                               
necessary to institute a statewide law.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1100                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  HUDSON,  Captain,  Administrative Services  Unit,  Central                                                               
Office, Division  of Alaska State  Troopers (AST),  Department of                                                               
Public Safety  (DPS), testified via teleconference  in support of                                                               
HB 472.  He  said that HB 472 will benefit  law enforcement:  "It                                                               
will allow  us to increase  our ability to track  stolen property                                                               
and  ultimately identify  a person  last in  possession of  those                                                               
items."   He briefly mentioned  that an amendment discussed  in a                                                               
prior committee pertained to  defining secondhand brokers, adding                                                               
that he has not yet seen that language.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG relayed  that  a few  years ago  he  had an  item                                                               
stolen from  his home.   He  said that he  had difficulties:   at                                                               
that  time there  was only  a "half  a person"  at the  Anchorage                                                               
Police Department (APD).   He asked Captain Hudson  what level of                                                               
manpower he intends  to devote to "a detail" to  handle this type                                                               
of crime in the future, and what level is available now.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  HUDSON  said that  currently  there  is no  detail  that                                                               
tracks  [stolen  property];  there   is  not  a  specific  person                                                               
assigned to this task, and  the AST does not anticipate assigning                                                               
anyone to  it in the  future.  What the  AST is expecting  out of                                                               
passage of  this legislation, he  added, is that  the information                                                               
gathered will  at least be  forwarded to law enforcement  so that                                                               
they can use it when the need arises.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG asked whether the  AST has sufficient hardware and                                                               
software to "be able to track this  if it is not on a diskette or                                                               
DVD."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN HUDSON said  that according to his  understanding, it has                                                               
not  yet been  determined what  specific format  will be  used in                                                               
forwarding the  information to local law  enforcement; therefore,                                                               
he  is  unable to  say  at  this time  whether  the  AST has  the                                                               
sufficient hardware/software.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG explained his biggest concern:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     We're  throwing the  net  out and  including  a lot  of                                                                    
     secondhand  stores  that  really haven't  had  to  have                                                                    
     [reporting]    requirements    before,   ...    whereas                                                                    
     pawnshops,  usually  under  municipal  ordinance,  have                                                                    
     them.    But  secondhand  stores  like  antique  shops,                                                                    
     secondhand   books,   although  they're   excluded,   I                                                                    
     believe, under  the bill --  there's a litany  of other                                                                    
     types of secondhand shops.   ... Are secondhand or used                                                                    
     automobiles in any way tracked, currently?                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN HUDSON said that secondhand  vehicles will be exempt from                                                               
the  provisions  of  HB  472,   and  are  not  currently  tracked                                                               
specifically  for the  purpose of  determining  whether they  are                                                               
stolen goods.   He noted,  however, that all  vehicles, including                                                               
secondhand vehicles,  are tracked  through the Division  of Motor                                                               
Vehicles' registration  process, which allows law  enforcement to                                                               
determine whether a vehicle is stolen.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1318                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAVE ADAMS  testified via  teleconference in  support of  HB 472.                                                               
He posited  that an experience  he had  ties into the  genesis of                                                               
the bill.  He elaborated:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     My office  was burglarized  in August of  2000.   And I                                                                    
     believe that  if the bill  was in effect at  that time,                                                                    
     that we  may have solved  a crime  - the theft  of some                                                                    
     property from  my office which  is irreplaceable.   The                                                                    
     appraised value of  the theft was about  $14,000.  I've                                                                    
     been talking  off and on  with ...  Anchorage Detective                                                                    
     Balega ever since  that theft, and one  of the problems                                                                    
     that he  noted was he'd  felt like the  merchandise had                                                                    
     left the  city of Anchorage  and the pawn  records that                                                                    
     would work in Anchorage for  them to trace the property                                                                    
     were not  in effect statewide; [the  property] probably                                                                    
     went to  the peninsula or  to Palmer/Wasilla area.   If                                                                    
     the reporting was  in effect, we could  have traced the                                                                    
     material down.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ... This  is the  first time  anybody's heard  this out                                                                    
     loud, what  I'm going  to say now:   Two  very personal                                                                    
     and valuable items were  stolen that are irreplaceable,                                                                    
     they cannot be  replaced, no amount of money  or an act                                                                    
     of  God  could  replace  these  items.    However,  the                                                                    
     criminals saw fit  to take some other item  with them -                                                                    
     and I will not describe  it anywhere outside of talking                                                                    
     to the  police -  [that] is highly  traceable.   And we                                                                    
     had hoped  over the  intervening months that  that item                                                                    
     would have been  taken to a pawnshop.   We could've, by                                                                    
     finding  that   item,  found  our   way  back   to  the                                                                    
     irreplaceable  items  that   I'll  probably  never  see                                                                    
     again.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. ADAMS concluded:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     So the scope  of a bill like this is  much greater than                                                                    
     meets the  eye.  So,  I would encourage you  to support                                                                    
     it.   Yes, there  may be  some cost.   If it  costs the                                                                    
     business people  something, well, how many  thefts, how                                                                    
     [much cost]  must the public,  like myself -  $14,000 -                                                                    
     have to bear;  if you tracked all of the  lost value in                                                                    
     un-recovered property,  I believe  this bill  would pay                                                                    
     for  itself  to  the   public  in  recovered  property.                                                                    
     Secondly,  it may  provide  a  deterrent effect;  these                                                                    
     criminals are smart enough to  leave Anchorage with the                                                                    
     things that they  steal here.  Well,  that's because of                                                                    
     the  ...  [ordinance].   If  the  ... [concept  of  the                                                                    
     ordinance] goes  statewide, there's a  good possibility                                                                    
     that  ...  [it'll]  have  a  deterrent  effect  on  the                                                                    
     professional criminal that we  believe struck my office                                                                    
     and property.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1487                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG thanked Mr. Adams for his testimony, and said to                                                                 
him:                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     I'd also  like to share  with you  the fact that  a few                                                                    
     years back, my wife's  engagement ring and her mother's                                                                    
     wedding ring  and engagement rings were  stolen from my                                                                    
     household, we think by domestic  help.  And even though                                                                    
     we knew who  stole it, and I hired  a private detective                                                                    
     to  run  them   down,  ...  I  had  a   great  deal  of                                                                    
     frustration  with   the  Anchorage   Police  Department                                                                    
     because they  had a  half person  assigned....   ... We                                                                    
     verified  later that  my suspicions  were correct,  but                                                                    
     the  rings and  the jewelry  - ...  worth in  excess of                                                                    
     $20,000 -  was not recoverable because  they dealt them                                                                    
     right  away  for  drugs.   ...  So,  those,  too,  were                                                                    
     irreplaceable because of sentimental value....                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG said that he did  not share Mr. Adams's faith that                                                               
enacting HB  472, only to have  the records just sit  in a corner                                                               
of someone's  office, will  be that helpful,  adding that  if the                                                               
proposed  reporting requirements  could be  incorporated into  an                                                               
automated system, he  might feel a lot more  comfortable with the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ADAMS  remarked that  if  Chair  Rokeberg  were to  talk  to                                                               
Detective  Balega, he  would  share  that Mr.  Adams  has a  high                                                               
degree  of perseverance  regarding  this [issue].    "I would  go                                                               
myself and  look at those  records, as I'm  sure at the  time you                                                               
would  have  also gone  to  look  at  the  records, even  if  the                                                               
department's weren't  staffed to do  it; the problem  is, there's                                                               
no place for  this information to come into one  point," he said.                                                               
Even today,  he added, he  would gladly go  sit down and  look at                                                               
all the records if they'd be brought together.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG said that is  a good point, particularly if "they"                                                               
could  be automated  and entered  into a  database that  could be                                                               
sorted.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1574                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JERRY CLEWORTH testified via teleconference.  He said                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Word  of this  bill is  just starting  to circulate  in                                                                    
     Fairbanks,  and for  a lot  of us  that ...  come under                                                                    
     this  new definition  of secondhand  dealer, there's  a                                                                    
     lot of concern.   I'll just give you my case.   I own a                                                                    
     coin  shop here  in Fairbanks;  a lot  of the  business                                                                    
     that I  do is bullion-related.   This bill in  front of                                                                    
     you calls  for a  mandatory 30-day  holding period.   I                                                                    
     think you can  imagine what would happen ...,  on a day                                                                    
     that I buy  tens of thousands' worth of bullion.   If I                                                                    
     can't liquidate it  or trade it ... [on]  the same day,                                                                    
     then there  is no point in  me buying it, because  if I                                                                    
     have to hold it for 30  days, one, I'll go broke [and],                                                                    
     two, I'm  gambling on  the price of  gold or  any other                                                                    
     precious  metal that's  out there.   It  just can't  be                                                                    
     done.  Buying (indisc.) many  of you, I'm scared of the                                                                    
     bill because that's about half  of my business; I can't                                                                    
     operate under such strict restrictions....                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Too, if I buy an estate,  and a lot of estates are very                                                                    
     large, it states in here that  if it has a $75 value or                                                                    
     more, that  I have to  itemize each item.   I literally                                                                    
     can't do that;  I don't have the time to  do that - run                                                                    
     a shop and sell, and then  turn that in weekly [to the]                                                                    
     local police  departments.   That presents  very severe                                                                    
     problems for  small businesses.  The  sponsor statement                                                                    
     that you folks have  received from Representative Green                                                                    
     talks   only   about   pawnbrokers,   which   I   found                                                                    
     interesting; it doesn't refer  to secondhand dealers at                                                                    
     all.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. CLEWORTH concluded:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I've  been in  business 22  years, and  [in] all  those                                                                    
     years I have only had  two instances where I have known                                                                    
     of  stolen  property;   both  those  situations  [were]                                                                    
     between a child  and a parent, [and]  ... we interceded                                                                    
     for them  and recovered [the  item].  That is  it, [in]                                                                    
     22 years.   And we're the only coin shop  here in town.                                                                    
     This is  not a chronic  problem that  I [can] see.   If                                                                    
     the  idea   here  is  to  get   pawnbrokers  to  submit                                                                    
     information  that  could  be  put on  some  kind  of  a                                                                    
     computer format  that [the] police department  can draw                                                                    
     up so they can see what  was stolen in various parts of                                                                    
     Alaska, then I  think that's a noble [effort].   But to                                                                    
     drag  a  lot of  us  into  this thing,  [there's]  some                                                                    
     repercussions that I hope that  the sponsor of this did                                                                    
     not intend.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  said he shared Mr.  Cleworth's concerns regarding                                                               
the 30-day holding period.   To any businessperson, he said, it's                                                               
like holding  and putting your  inventory in cold storage  for 30                                                               
days."   It just  doesn't work, he  added; business  owners can't                                                               
afford to  do that.  He  mentioned that the sponsor  [is willing]                                                               
to create some exemptions, but  added that he has concerns should                                                               
"somebody" be missed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1729                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARGE  THOMPSON, Co-owner,  Alaskan Photographic  Repair Service,                                                               
testified via teleconference.   She said that HB 427  will have a                                                               
severe impact  on her  life.  Although  the aim of  HB 427  is to                                                               
stem the  illegal purchase of  stolen goods, the broad  scope the                                                               
bill will  affect a variety  of secondhand shops  reselling items                                                               
such  as firearms,  watches, cameras,  sporting goods,  antiques,                                                               
paintings,  boats, and  computer  equipment.   The  list will  be                                                               
virtually endless,  she warned.   If the  police and the  AST are                                                               
having  trouble shutting  down those  businesses that  buy stolen                                                               
goods,  why  then,  she  asked, are  secondhand  dealers  of  all                                                               
commodities with a $75 retail value also being targeted?                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON  said that  she did not  believe that  the paperwork                                                               
required  of  the  purchaser  of   secondhand  goods  is  at  all                                                               
reasonable.   To have to  keep these records  on hand for  a year                                                               
and be subject to inspection by  law enforcement at any time, she                                                               
opined, is  akin to being treated  like a criminal.   She posited                                                               
that  the vast  majority  of secondhand  dealers  are honest  and                                                               
above reproach.  The requirement that  she keep goods on hand for                                                               
a period of  30 days before selling them, she  added, will eat up                                                               
her  income  substantially;  her  business is  based  on  turning                                                               
inventory around  quickly.  She  pointed out that there  are many                                                               
folks  who buy  merchandise on  the Internet;  those folks  would                                                               
have no way to gather the  information required by HB 472, and no                                                               
way  of   verifying  past  ownership   or  identity.     Internet                                                               
secondhand  businesses would  have an  unfair advantage  over her                                                               
business, she noted.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. THOMPSON,  in closing,  said that she  didn't think  that the                                                               
state  can  afford the  process  of  attempting to  enforce  this                                                               
legislation,  reiterating  that  her business  cannot  afford  it                                                               
either.   "Please  don't  tie  our hands  behind  our back,"  she                                                               
asked; stiffer  penalties or requirements  should apply  to those                                                               
convicted  of  trafficking  in   stolen  goods,  not  the  honest                                                               
business owners.   "Don't take the honest folks  [in] society and                                                               
make policemen of us all," she added.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1832                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BEN   CARPENTER,  Owner,   Ben's  Super   Store,  testified   via                                                               
teleconference.  He said:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I own  a large secondhand  store in Fairbanks  known as                                                                    
     Ben's Super Store.  I  recently learned of [HB 472] and                                                                    
     I  am  extremely disturbed  about  one  section of  the                                                                    
     bill.   I  would  like to  address  the 30-day  holding                                                                    
     period for  purchased secondhand  merchandise.   The 30                                                                    
     days that I would be  required to hold this merchandise                                                                    
     would  cause undue  financial  hardships and  excessive                                                                    
     [recordkeeping] and  storage problems for my  store and                                                                    
     all other [secondhand] businesses.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     I have  contacted several  fellow business  owners here                                                                    
     in  Fairbanks to  discuss our  views and  concerns.   I                                                                    
     have  spoken  to  a  coin shop  operator  ...;  a  used                                                                    
     sporting-good  storeowner;  several jewelry  stores;  a                                                                    
     gold dealer;  ... a stamp collectible  shop; an antique                                                                    
     dealer;  a clock  and watch  repair shop;  and numerous                                                                    
     recreational  [vehicle]  dealers including  sellers  of                                                                    
     snow machines,  "four wheelers," boat dealers,  and jet                                                                    
     ski  dealers.   After talking  with my  fellow business                                                                    
     owners,  I   would  like   to  explain   the  financial                                                                    
     hardships we  would be facing  with the  30-day holding                                                                    
     period.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     When dealers  acquire [secondhand]  items such  as snow                                                                    
     machines,   off-road  vehicles,   and  all   boats  and                                                                    
     watercraft ...  midseason, for  example, July  or early                                                                    
     August,  and [the  items] are  held  for 30  days -  to                                                                    
     about  the first  part  of September  -  the season  is                                                                    
     over.   The items have to  be carried over to  the next                                                                    
     season, approximately  mid-May.   The season  for these                                                                    
     vehicles  is  about four  and  a  half months  here  in                                                                    
     Fairbanks.  Taking  30 days out of  [that] timeframe to                                                                    
     sell  an item  is a  crippling financial  disadvantage.                                                                    
     The  depreciation  factor  on   these  items  is  high,                                                                    
     resulting  in  several  hundreds  of  dollars  in  lost                                                                    
     depreciation.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1925                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARPENTER continued:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The 30-day holding period has  the same disadvantage to                                                                    
     coin  dealers, as  Mr. [Cleworth]  has explained;  when                                                                    
     they are locked into a  30-day period, they cannot sell                                                                    
     and the fluctuation of gold  prices [puts] them at high                                                                    
     risk and  can result in  a monetary loss.   The storage                                                                    
     and extra bookkeeping will be  a major problem for most                                                                    
     stores.   [In] my  store, the storage  space will  be a                                                                    
     huge problem.   We do not  have the space to  store 30-                                                                    
     days  worth of  merchandise.   We  deal  in many  bulky                                                                    
     items  such  as   furniture,  exercise  equipment,  and                                                                    
     appliances.  We may [be]  forced to stop handling these                                                                    
     items, which are a good  portion of our business, if we                                                                    
     [have] to hold  them for more than 30 days,  ... due to                                                                    
     the lack of  storage.  We feel that  the 30-day holding                                                                    
     period is [unnecessary].                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  [secondhand]  storeowners   are  members  of  this                                                                    
     community.   As property owners, we  are very concerned                                                                    
     about stolen  property, and  we have  always cooperated                                                                    
     [with]  law enforcement's  attempts  to recover  stolen                                                                    
     property [and]  prosecute (indisc.) Fairbanks.   We are                                                                    
     very  vigilant in  our efforts  to not  deal in  stolen                                                                    
     property.   We business owners haven't  had enough time                                                                    
     and opportunity  to express our concerns  pertaining to                                                                    
     [HB  472].   We strongly  urge you  to seek  more input                                                                    
     from all concerned  citizens.  Please do  not rush this                                                                    
     bill until you  have fully heard our side  of the story                                                                    
     and have all the facts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     As  for our  present business  practices, my  store has                                                                    
     been  complying  with  present  Alaska  law  regulating                                                                    
     [secondhand] stores, and  have no problem with  it.  We                                                                    
     have   been  getting   full  names,   addresses,  phone                                                                    
     numbers,   Alaska   driver's   license  or   state   ID                                                                    
     [identification] numbers, plus  [a] full description of                                                                    
     the merchandise purchased with  serial numbers, as well                                                                    
     as signature of the seller.   We have purchase invoices                                                                    
     filed for  the past  ten years;  they have  always been                                                                    
     available for  inspection.  Including a  30-day holding                                                                    
     period is overkill and unjustified.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2018                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CARPENTER concluded:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Over the past ten  years [we've] owned this [secondhand                                                                    
     store],  Ben's  Super  Store, I  can  recall  only  one                                                                    
     incident when  stolen property was  sold before  it was                                                                    
     deemed stolen.  It was  a bicycle, and it was recovered                                                                    
     and the  purchaser received [a]  refund.   The incident                                                                    
     rate  of  stolen   property  received  by  [secondhand]                                                                    
     stores  is not  as high  as perceived  by some  people.                                                                    
     The national  rate of stolen  property that is  sold at                                                                    
     [secondhand]  stores is  about one-half  of 1  percent.                                                                    
     The  Fairbanks  percentage  rate   is  lower  than  the                                                                    
     national average,  at approximately [one-quarter]  of 1                                                                    
     percent,  based   on  my  [store's]  experience.     We                                                                    
     strongly urge  you to take  your time to get  the facts                                                                    
     and statistics before  you [act] on [HB 472].   We urge                                                                    
     you to  seek more input from  secondhand [storeowners];                                                                    
     we will be  affected by the 30-day holding  period.  We                                                                    
     are   very  [concerned]   about  the   future  of   our                                                                    
     [companies] if this holding period becomes law.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2072                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DAN HOFFMAN, Lieutenant, Fairbanks  Police Department (FPD), City                                                               
of  Fairbanks, testified  via teleconference  in  support of  the                                                               
intent of HB 472.   He said that it will better  allow the FPD to                                                               
track stolen property.  He  noted, however, that he can certainly                                                               
appreciate the concerns of the  secondhand storeowners that "seem                                                               
to be  getting drug into this."   He opined that  the state needs                                                               
to  take a  close look  at  who to  include  into the  bill.   He                                                               
offered  that from  his  original discussions  with  the APD  and                                                               
other law enforcement, HB 472 was  being looked at primarily as a                                                               
way to  assist in regulating  pawnbrokers.  Mr.  Hoffman remarked                                                               
that  Chair Rokeberg  makes a  valid point  in that  it would  be                                                               
ridiculous  if  the information  gathered  merely  sat in  corner                                                               
collecting  dust.    He  suggested   that  HB  472  ought  to  be                                                               
considered the  forerunner of  a way  for law  enforcement across                                                               
the state  to be  able to  access, perhaps  through a  single web                                                               
page,  all the  information, which  ought  to be  collected in  a                                                               
uniform manner, provided  by every pawnshop.  He  noted that such                                                               
a  system  will never  be  realized  until statewide  legislation                                                               
regulating pawnshops is implemented.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG  asked Mr. Hoffman  whether he would  be disturbed                                                               
if secondhand dealers were "deleted" from HB 472.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOFFMAN said that personally,  he would not be too disturbed,                                                               
noting that if the bill initially  focuses on pawnshops and it is                                                               
later  found that  some types  of  secondhand venues  need to  be                                                               
regulated  in   the  same  fashion,   they  could  be   added  as                                                               
appropriate.  He  said that he hopes that  the "secondhand issue"                                                               
doesn't bog the bill down entirely.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ROKEBERG   said  that  the  committee   fully  supports  a                                                               
"criminal  justice  MIS  (management information  system)  system                                                               
that  would  be  statewide."    He  asked  whether  the  City  of                                                               
Fairbanks currently has a "pawnbroker reporting requirement."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HOFFMAN  said yes, adding that  one of the major  problems is                                                               
that it currently relies on  19th century technology, with all of                                                               
the pawnbrokers filling out paper tickets.  He explained:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     We  don't have  the  manpower resources  to go  around,                                                                    
     physically  pick up  shoeboxes full  of paper  tickets,                                                                    
     and have people go  through and hand-sort those things.                                                                    
     But if  we were  to try and  change our  city ordinance                                                                    
     and   force  our   local  pawnbrokers   to   go  to   a                                                                    
     computerized  system, it  would be  too easy  for those                                                                    
     folks to  argue that, "Well,  the people in  North Pole                                                                    
     don't have  to do  that," or, "The  people down  in the                                                                    
     valley don't have  to do that."  As I  said, that's why                                                                    
     we need  a statewide standard,  so that if you  want to                                                                    
     make a local change, it will come up to that standard.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2202                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
NORM BLAKELEY testified via teleconference, noting that he owns                                                                 
a pawnshop/secondhand store in Soldotna and has owned it for                                                                    
approximately 20 years.  He said:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     About two  or three  years ago,  a police  officer from                                                                    
     the [Alaska  State] Troopers met with  the police chief                                                                    
     in Soldotna with  a bunch of the local  brokers, and we                                                                    
     all  sat  down and  discussed  the  issues that  you're                                                                    
     talking about  at the  present time:   ...  about doing                                                                    
     weekly [reports]  and having them  turned in.   Most of                                                                    
     the pawn  dealers, excluding me,  didn't want to  do it                                                                    
     and refused  to do it.   And I  told them that  I would                                                                    
     ... try  to comply with what  they wanted - see  how it                                                                    
     worked and what went on with it.   So, my shop - I only                                                                    
     had myself  and one other employee  - did do this.   We                                                                    
     did  it for  about three  or four  months, and  finally                                                                    
     Officer Donnelly (ph) said that  it was too cumbersome,                                                                    
     [and]  that  they  didn't  have time  to  pick  up  the                                                                    
     reports.  I  think they looked at it once  in the four-                                                                    
     month  period; we  did a  lot  of work  - nothing  ever                                                                    
     happened with it.  And so  he suggested that we just do                                                                    
     away with it.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ... I don't believe he's in  this area now; he was with                                                                    
     the [Alaska State] Troopers.   And so the idea of doing                                                                    
     this  [was] tried  at our  place.   The [Alaska  State]                                                                    
     Troopers  didn't  have  the  manpower  to  do  it,  and                                                                    
     couldn't do  it.  Our  records are  open, continuously,                                                                    
     to anyone  that has the authority,  meaning the [Alaska                                                                    
     State] Troopers or law  enforcement officers, that want                                                                    
     to look at  our records.  ... Actually, in  our area, I                                                                    
     think [we]  have a  great reputation.   We  have helped                                                                    
     Kmart [Corporation] ... [catch]  people that worked for                                                                    
     them  that were  taking  merchandise,  that they  never                                                                    
     knew,  the  [Alaska  State]  Troopers  never  knew,  or                                                                    
     anyone else  never knew about.   One of  the incidences                                                                    
     ...  [involved merchandise]  in excess  of [$80,000  or                                                                    
     $90,000] that we notified them  about, and they told us                                                                    
     it couldn't be  happening, and they looked  into it and                                                                    
     it  was  happening,  and  they  did  bring  that  to  a                                                                    
     conclusion, and some people went to jail for that.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 2289                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BLAKELEY continued:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Part  of the  problem  that  I see  you  having is  ...                                                                    
     [that]  people  don't  only go  from  our  location  to                                                                    
     Anchorage or  other places; they are  fencing the stuff                                                                    
     at yard sales  now, all types of places.   I think they                                                                    
     think secondhand  dealers and  pawnshops are  watched a                                                                    
     lot closer than  they used to be.  I  think the dealers                                                                    
     have   become  more   reputable;  ...   we  would   not                                                                    
     intentionally,  in  anyway,   take  anything  [stolen].                                                                    
     And,  in fact,  we  try  to help  the  community:   ...                                                                    
     anything that  we think is  suspicious is  ... [turned]                                                                    
     in.   A lot of  the articles that you're  talking about                                                                    
     are unidentifiable  - ...  rings, jewelry,  things like                                                                    
     that -  and the fact  [is] that  there's a lot  of them                                                                    
     that  are   manufactured  [that]  look  a   lot  alike,                                                                    
     [though] I understand a lot of them aren't.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The gentleman that talked ...  from Anchorage that said                                                                    
     that  he  had  his  business broke  into,  I  think  if                                                                    
     Anchorage  maybe could  have  notified  us, as  dealers                                                                    
     separately, that we would have  been more than happy to                                                                    
     try  to  help him,  and  to  try  to help  recover  his                                                                    
     property.  Myself I have  had merchandise stolen out of                                                                    
     my shop; I had [a] snow  machine stolen from the shop -                                                                    
     the chain cut and driven off  when we were there.  So I                                                                    
     can empathize  with how  he's feeling.   As far  as him                                                                    
     being able  to go  [through] the  records if  they were                                                                    
     complied in  a place  where he could  do that,  I think                                                                    
     there's a lot  of people that do business  with me that                                                                    
     would not want the  everyday public going through their                                                                    
     records  and seeing  their names.   I  have dealt  with                                                                    
     attorneys,  doctors,   all  kinds   of  people   in  my                                                                    
     business, because,  I feel, I have  a great reputation:                                                                    
     they trust  and understand  me.  So  I think  that's an                                                                    
     issue  that  if  you  would even  [think]  about,  that                                                                    
     wouldn't be acceptable.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     A lot of  the problems we have  with stolen merchandise                                                                    
     are  related  to  relatives:    children  -  thieves  -                                                                    
     stealing things from their folks  and bringing them in.                                                                    
     And we try to work with  the parents, and we don't take                                                                    
     any merchandise  ... from anybody  that isn't  18 years                                                                    
     of age.  They have  to have a positive identification -                                                                    
     pictured ID -  such as a driver's license  or state ID;                                                                    
     we don't  accept anything  other than  that.   [In] our                                                                    
     area  we have  a hard  time  even getting  the City  of                                                                    
     Soldotna,  [City  of]  Kenai, and  the  [Alaska  State]                                                                    
     Troopers to help  us try to figure out  what's going on                                                                    
     with stolen  merchandise.   So, to try  to put  this on                                                                    
     [a] statewide basis  and have the state do  it, I think                                                                    
     is really more cumbersome than  what you would think it                                                                    
     would  [be].   If the  cities  want to  pass their  own                                                                    
     ordinances to do  this, I think that's a  better way to                                                                    
     look  at  it  than  to  probably  put  it  in  a  state                                                                    
     perspective.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 02-47, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2363                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CYNTHIA  BRIDGES, Detective,  Anchorage Police  Department (APD),                                                               
Municipality  of Anchorage  (MOA), testified  via teleconference,                                                               
noting  that  Anchorage has  been  monitoring  its pawnshops  for                                                               
several years.  She said:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     It works  out really well.   But those records  are not                                                                    
     public records.   ...  We don't  give out  that doctors                                                                    
     pawn  their property,  or anything  like that.   That's                                                                    
     not  public record.   ...  The purpose  of having  that                                                                    
     record is, when we are  looking for stolen property, we                                                                    
     can  identify who  has pawned  stolen property,  or, if                                                                    
     someone  has an  article  stolen and  they  may have  a                                                                    
     suspect,  we  can  run  that  name  and  determine  ...                                                                    
     whether or not  that person pawned something.   But ...                                                                    
     that's  not information  that goes  out to  the general                                                                    
     public.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     There  are  a  couple  of things  that  I  specifically                                                                    
     wanted to address.  We  had a burglary ... last summer,                                                                    
     and the guys  involved in this burglary  pawned some of                                                                    
     the property.   And  we caught  them doing  a burglary,                                                                    
     and  when  we ran  ...  their  names through  our  pawn                                                                    
     system,  [we]   were  able  to  tie   them  to  several                                                                    
     burglaries and  were able to subsequently  return a lot                                                                    
     of stolen  property that we would  not have necessarily                                                                    
     been able  to return  had we  not known  the name  of a                                                                    
     potential burglar.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Also,  as  far  ...  secondhand shops  ...  [having]  a                                                                    
     problem  with this  bill, I  had  a case  where a  lady                                                                    
     stole  some property  from an  elderly couple  that she                                                                    
     was  [caretaker] for.   She  stole their  property, she                                                                    
     pawned some of  it at a pawnshop; some  of the property                                                                    
     that she  pawned at a  pawnshop she retrieved  from the                                                                    
     pawnshop and then took to a  coin dealer and sold it to                                                                    
     the coin  dealer.  I  found out from the  pawnshop that                                                                    
     this  is what  she had  done; by  the time  I contacted                                                                    
     [this company],  ... within a  week or two,  ... they'd                                                                    
     already disposed of the property.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 2265                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRIDGES said:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     So,  ...  if  they're   going  to  take  in  secondhand                                                                    
     property ... - I'm not  saying that they know that it's                                                                    
     stolen, and  they have no expectation  that it's stolen                                                                    
     - ... there is potential that  it could be stolen.  And                                                                    
     with jewelry it's very  difficult to distinguish items;                                                                    
     [with] jewelry  specifically, what  the problem  is, is                                                                    
     [that] it is not always going  to the pawnshop.  And if                                                                    
     our  criminals find  out that  the jewelry  stores will                                                                    
     take this  jewelry, and there's  virtually no  way that                                                                    
     they can get  caught, they're going to  start doing it.                                                                    
     And there is nothing to say that they haven't already.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     It will create a lot more  work for me and the [people]                                                                    
     that work with  me who enter this information  if we do                                                                    
     start  collecting  this   information  from  secondhand                                                                    
     stores like  jewelry shops and computer  stores, but in                                                                    
     the situation where they're taking  this kind of stuff,                                                                    
     there's  got to  be  some kind  of monitoring,  because                                                                    
     that's where the stuff's going to be going.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2228                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRIDGES addressed a couple of concerns about the bill:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     One of  the biggest concerns  is ... there's a  line in                                                                    
     there that says  if items are sold in [lots  of] ten or                                                                    
     more, ...  like DVD  movies or  CDs [compact  discs] or                                                                    
     video  games and  things like  this, you  only have  to                                                                    
     report them if they're sold in  a bunch of that many or                                                                    
     more.   Well, if  our criminals  find out  that they're                                                                    
     not being reported unless there's  ten or more, they're                                                                    
     going to start going from  pawnshop to pawnshop.  ... I                                                                    
     had  a case  where  a  gentleman, in  the  span of  six                                                                    
     months, pawned  2,700 DVDs -  the movies.  Now,  if you                                                                    
     do  the math,  and  you buy  each one  for  $15 from  a                                                                    
     store,  that's  ...  [$40,500] worth  of  DVDs  in  six                                                                    
     months.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Now,  he  didn't  get  that  much  for  them  from  the                                                                    
     pawnshop; ...  he didn't always  pawn ten or more  at a                                                                    
     time, he would  pawn three or four here,  go to another                                                                    
     pawnshop [and  pawn] five or  six.   And if we  have no                                                                    
     way of  tracking something  like that,  then we  have a                                                                    
     big  problem with  that also.   So,  I kind  of have  a                                                                    
     problem with  that.  But if  [removing] that particular                                                                    
     line hinders  the bill, then  I would say leave  it in;                                                                    
     if it  doesn't hinder the  bill, then I would  say take                                                                    
     it out.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG asked whether it is the MOA's ordinance that                                                                     
dictates what information pawnbrokers have to report.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRIDGES  said that  it is the  MOA's ordinance  that dictates                                                               
that  pawnbrokers  must report  everything.    For anything  that                                                               
pawnbrokers take in, whether they buy  it outright or loan on it,                                                               
they  have  to report;  there  is  no stipulation  pertaining  to                                                               
serial  numbers, value,  or quantity.   If  they fail  to report,                                                               
they are in violation, she added.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG asked how pawnbrokers report.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 2141                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRIDGES explained:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The majority of  our pawnshops e-mail us;  we have [an]                                                                    
     e-mail address, and they e-mail it  to us.  And then we                                                                    
     download  it to  our system,  and it's  rewritten in  a                                                                    
     form  that our  computers can  read.   And  I have  two                                                                    
     clerks  that  work  for  me,   and  they  download  the                                                                    
     information  and  modify it  slightly  to  go into  our                                                                    
     system, and then it's downloaded  to the state for [an]                                                                    
     APSIN [Alaska Public  Safety Information Network] check                                                                    
     for stolen property  - serialized property.   I do have                                                                    
     two pawnshops  that still report with  tickets; we have                                                                    
     hand  tickets that  we provide  to  the pawnshops,  and                                                                    
     they fill  them out, and  I pick  them up once  a week,                                                                    
     and my  clerks enter  them into our  system.   And then                                                                    
     some  of  the  pawnshops  ...  report  via  disk;  they                                                                    
     download the information  to a disk, I pick it  up on a                                                                    
     weekly basis, and it's downloaded to our system.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     So  ... there  are  several different  ways to  report.                                                                    
     And a  lot of  it has  to do  with what  the pawnshops'                                                                    
     ability to report is.  One  of the reasons why we would                                                                    
     like  to see  this go  on and  get the  whole state  to                                                                    
     report is  because what  we're seeing is  a lot  of our                                                                    
     stolen stuff is going either  out to the valley or down                                                                    
     to the Kenai.  And we  don't have the ability to access                                                                    
     that information.   Our  jurisdiction is  Anchorage and                                                                    
     ... we can't just hop in  our car and run down to Kenai                                                                    
     to  see if  any of  our stolen  stuff shows  up in  the                                                                    
     pawnshop down there.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     So  there's  no  way  for   us  to  track  the  outside                                                                    
     agencies' jurisdictions to see  if our stuff is showing                                                                    
     up down  there.  Now,  if they were online,  similar to                                                                    
     us, ...  it's possible in  the future that we  would be                                                                    
     able to  communicate with each other  via computer, and                                                                    
     they  would   be  able  to  download   our  information                                                                    
     (indisc.)  and us  theirs.   And  that's  kind of  what                                                                    
     we're hoping  for but in order  to do that, we  have to                                                                    
     have   a   bill   where   the   state,   or   different                                                                    
     municipalities  other  than  Anchorage,  actually  have                                                                    
     their pawnshops reporting to them.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ROKEBERG announced that HB 472 would be held over.                                                                        

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