City may change ordinance for secondhand goods stores

There are 14 comments on the Times Georgian story from Sep 15, 2010, titled City may change ordinance for secondhand goods stores. In it, Times Georgian reports that:

The city council is reconsidering a secondhand goods ordinance which requires dealers of secondhand goods to photograph and fingerprint customers from whom they buy.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Times Georgian.

Since: Jun 07

D'ville, GA

#1 Sep 16, 2010
“Sears and Macy’s are experiencing stolen goods from their end,” he said."

So why don't they pass an ordinance that says if you go into a Sears or Macys you'll be photographed and fingerprinted?
anon

Duluth, GA

#2 Sep 16, 2010
Maybe they should steal stuff that's easier to pawn!
Tax and Spend

New York, NY

#3 Sep 16, 2010
[QUOTE who="Helen McCoy/Sentinel"]
City may change ordinance for secondhand goods stores

The city council is reconsidering a secondhand goods ordinance which requires dealers of secondhand goods to photograph and fingerprint customers from whom they buy.

At its Public Safety Committee meeting Sept. 2, the council looked at tweaking the ordinance so that owners of consignment shops would not have to photograph every customer and item or fingerprint them when they bring in used clothing, shoes and other inexpensive items.

If a change is made, consignment shop owners would have to report what appeared to be new items or multiple items of the same kind, such as three or more Polo shirts or three or more pairs of name-brand jeans or shoes.

Assistant City Attorney Suzan Littlefield tried to explain to council members, staff and three consignment shop owners what the revamped ordinance would entail, if passed. Despite her explanation, she was bombarded with variations of the same question and a lengthy discussion followed.

Deborah Newell, owner of Clothes 4 Cash; Ray Grimmer, who owns Kid to Kid with his wife, Heather and John Cheatham, owner of Plato’s Closet with his daughter, Allison, didn’t speak at the meeting but have spoken in opposition to the current ordinance

Newell launched a petition drive in response to it.

“We could broaden the ordinance to cover new clothing and shoes if sold as secondhand goods,” Littlefield offered.“This would include what appears to be new in its original box with tags attached or brought to the dealer in numbers. We would also add metals to the ordinance.”

Littlefield said low-dollar kitchen items and obviously used clothing would be exempt.

The ordinance, which originally targeted pawn shops and jewelry stores when it was passed in January, was broadened in the last month to include consignment shops and other dealers of secondhand goods. The effective date for the add-on groups was set for Sept. 15 but was pushed back to Oct. 1 until the ordinance could be reviewed.

By all accounts, the program has been successful in identifying stolen items sold to pawn shops and jewelry stores and those who sell to them. Det. Mac Abercrombie, of the Douglasville Police Department, coordinates the project.

Douglasville Police Chief Chris Womack, who said he has spoken extensively with the consignment shop owners, has said he is neither interested in apprehending a mother trying to sell used Garanimals nor trying to interfere with small businesses’ ability to be successful.

His concern is to cut down on crime and intercept those selling stolen goods, he said.

“Sears and Macy’s are experiencing stolen goods from their end,” he said.

Councilman Larry Yockey, in whose district some of the consignment shops lie, brought up research he’d done on a similar ordinance in Grand Rapids, Mich., which was not implemented because it lacked clarity on how to apply the ordinance to all secondhand dealers, and one in Indiana, which had to be tweaked.

“The sign of the time is not to hurt people. This is the right time to fix this ordinance,” Yockey said.

Councilman Terry Miller said the intent of the ordinance was to employ common sense in complying with the ordinance.

“I think we are definitely headed in the right direction,” he said.

[/QUOTE]

The article as posted to the Sentinel's website.
Owner of Cash 4 Clothes

Atlanta, GA

#4 Sep 16, 2010
City council meeting tonight 9/16 @ 7:30 in City Hall. We plan on speaking to ammend the 2nd hand ordinance and asking that we are allowed to continue doing business as we have for 19 years here in Douglasville. Public support is needed. Deborah Newell
Tax and Spend

New York, NY

#5 Sep 16, 2010
Here is what I posted that was approved to be on the Sentinel's website:

In case anyone has forgotten, The 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This is supposed to keep the Government and it Agents out of our personal business. By passing an ordinance REQUIRING private business to fingerprint & photograph citizens, the private business becomes an Agent for the Government.

Selling used items does not provide Probable Cause (PC). A trained police officer may be able to establish the lower standard of Reasonable Articulable Suspicion (RAS) against someone who is selling a second-hand item to persue an investigation, but I doubt that the City of Douglasville is going to be willing to provide a police officer for each and every location that deals in second-hand items.

Without PC or RAS, requiring a photograph and finger prints violates the 4th Amendment.

But hey, it makes the police department's job easier. Why should we worry about a few rights?
Tax and Spend

New York, NY

#6 Sep 16, 2010
Some one named "nobocan" posted this:

I do not see how the 4th amendment applies to this. The 4th applies to "Private Property" as in your home, not a Public business..Better go back to school or better yet where did you learn to twist the Constitution to fit your view point?

I think this is a great idea by Law enforcement, we have many dishonest Business people out there who not only process stolen property but probably launder drug sale money as well and hire illegal Aliens and pay them under the table..It is not in the news but on average at least two Tractor Trailers are stolen each week, taken to south central Atlanta, and in twenty minutes or less 50 cars and trucks show up and distribute the goods.
Tax and Spend

New York, NY

#7 Sep 16, 2010
I attempted to post the following but the Sentinel did not approve it:

"Secure in their persons"

Giving a government agent a set of your fingerprints where no PC or RAS exists to me is a violation.

I am not "twisting" the Constitution to fit my view point. The Constitution should mean what it says and giving the government a set of fingerprints to sell something is UNREASONABLE. The City is using its power to deny a private business that business's ability to be in business unless it complies with the City's ordinance. If a police officer were present at the store taking your finger prints would you feel differently? Maybe you would also be willing to have your DNA on file with the City.

The government can come up with plenty of new ideas that will help law enforcement keep us safe from each other. Only the Constitution keeps getting in the way. Maybe we can get rid of some other pesky rights that impede law enforcement:

Art. 1 Sec 9 - Habeas Corpus
Amendments:
1st - freedom of the press and speech
2nd - right to bear arms
5th - double jeopardy, self incrimination, due process
6th - speedy trial, witness confrontation
8th - cruel & unusual punishment

Get these things out of the way and Law Enforcement would be better equipped to ensure our safety.

I do not know what school you went to, but even police officers get basic training in Constitutional Rights. Too bad politicians do not.
tom

Douglasville, GA

#8 Sep 16, 2010
my thoughts on this for what it is worth.
I see the need for law enforcement to fight theft, and protect the property of businesses that are being stolen from. That is one of the purposes of law enforcement. I think that making the proposed changes are a start. We buy and sell from one of the local cosignment shops. We have in the past sold some clothing that was new with the tags still left on them.We recieved them as gifts for our daughter. They were not the right size, and or she just never wore them. This ordinance may/ may not cut down on theft. All the criminals will have to do is just remove the tags before they sell them, and claim they are used. I think that modifying the oridinace is fair to both parties. I'm sure that Sears, and Macys have cut back on their overhead, and it is possible that loss prevention was affected.

Since: Jun 07

D'ville, GA

#9 Sep 16, 2010
tom wrote:
my thoughts on this for what it is worth.
I see the need for law enforcement to fight theft, and protect the property of businesses that are being stolen from. That is one of the purposes of law enforcement. I think that making the proposed changes are a start. We buy and sell from one of the local cosignment shops. We have in the past sold some clothing that was new with the tags still left on them.We recieved them as gifts for our daughter. They were not the right size, and or she just never wore them. This ordinance may/ may not cut down on theft. All the criminals will have to do is just remove the tags before they sell them, and claim they are used. I think that modifying the oridinace is fair to both parties. I'm sure that Sears, and Macys have cut back on their overhead, and it is possible that loss prevention was affected.
This ordinance may stop a crook from selling his stolen goods in a D'ville pawn or consignment shop but it won't stop them from going to Carrollton, Rockmart, Atlanta or other town and it won't stop them from selling to thier cousin or sister or what ever so the thefts will continue. Won't stop those stealing for personal use either. This ordinance only puts additional financial burden on the consignment store owner while stopping nothing. Maybe a better idea would be to have a two week waiting period like with gun sales cause we all know that additional law has stopped all gun related crimes......right....
Grob Hahn

Duluth, GA

#10 Sep 16, 2010
spitfire2 wrote:
<quoted text>
This ordinance may stop a crook from selling his stolen goods in a D'ville pawn or consignment shop but it won't stop them from going to Carrollton, Rockmart, Atlanta or other town and it won't stop them from selling to thier cousin or sister or what ever so the thefts will continue. Won't stop those stealing for personal use either. This ordinance only puts additional financial burden on the consignment store owner while stopping nothing. Maybe a better idea would be to have a two week waiting period like with gun sales cause we all know that additional law has stopped all gun related crimes......right....
I agree, we should keep the money, even ill-gotten, right here at home!

Honestly though, why is the county being called in to shore up what Sears and Macy's should be doing internally? Am I missing something here? Aren't stores responsible for hiring adequate security? If they have reduced their security to cut costs, why should taxpayers have to take up the slack?
Grobbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Oh, and I got a nasty fungal rash that lasted for weeks after buying a slightly used pair of usually-expensive jeans. Some stuff doesn't wash away!

Since: Jun 07

D'ville, GA

#11 Sep 17, 2010
Grob Hahn wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree, we should keep the money, even ill-gotten, right here at home!
Honestly though, why is the county being called in to shore up what Sears and Macy's should be doing internally? Am I missing something here? Aren't stores responsible for hiring adequate security? If they have reduced their security to cut costs, why should taxpayers have to take up the slack?
Grobbbbbbbbbbbbbb
Oh, and I got a nasty fungal rash that lasted for weeks after buying a slightly used pair of usually-expensive jeans. Some stuff doesn't wash away!
What ever happened to store dicks? I'm guessing they've been replaced with cameras that don't complain about benifits. And what about those plastic ink devices they attach to clothing? Don't they ruin clothes if cut? A pawn or consignment shop shouldn't take in anything that still has these thing attached.
Sunshine

Douglasville, GA

#12 Sep 17, 2010
I've seen you mention "that rash" before! That must have been one bad rash! Anyways....as USUAL....I completely agree with you Grob. Why in the hell is theft NOT the department store's responsibility! Geesh - talk about passing the buck.
Grob Hahn wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree, we should keep the money, even ill-gotten, right here at home!
Honestly though, why is the county being called in to shore up what Sears and Macy's should be doing internally? Am I missing something here? Aren't stores responsible for hiring adequate security? If they have reduced their security to cut costs, why should taxpayers have to take up the slack?
Grobbbbbbbbbbbbbb
Oh, and I got a nasty fungal rash that lasted for weeks after buying a slightly used pair of usually-expensive jeans. Some stuff doesn't wash away!
Grob Hahn

Duluth, GA

#13 Sep 18, 2010
Sunshine wrote:
I've seen you mention "that rash" before! That must have been one bad rash! Anyways....as USUAL....I completely agree with you Grob. Why in the hell is theft NOT the department store's responsibility! Geesh - talk about passing the buck.
<quoted text>
It's the only rash I ever had like that. Even when I was in the military I never caught anything. Then, I'm in my 30s and get hit with fungus???????? I'll keep buying off the rack and pray I don't catch something Chinese!
Grobbbbbbbbb
anon

Powder Springs, GA

#14 Sep 18, 2010
well i know one thing that goodwill in hiram is a HAVEN for stolen goods. the manager steals from macy's and sells it in her 'store'!(shes also a known crack hoe)

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