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New Kansas City Pawn Shop Requirements Include Video Records, Item Holding Period

Thomas Hawk

An often easy crime – at least in the past, in Kansas City, Missouri — was to pawn stolen items for cash at a pawn shop.

Detective Jeff Mehrer says when he makes the connection in a case and goes to the shop, the items have usually been sold. 

The person who brought them in likely used a phony name and pawn shops are not required to keep records of who buys things. Your stuff is gone. Not recoverable.

That scenario should end under a newly revised set of rules for pawn shops in Kansas City. Mehrer says he faced those frustrating circumstances too many times, so he and his colleagues in the Economic Crimes Division and the South Patrol went to the Kansas City council and succeeded in getting an update passed last Thursday.

Under the new rules, pawn shops will be required to have a video recording of each item they take in – a recording that also shows the face of the person who hocked it. That video will have to be on file for 60 days.

Pawn shop operators will also have to hold items for at least 10 days before selling them or shipping them out of town.

The city's pawn shop owners did not oppose the changes.

Police relish the prospect of a quick transfer of digital video to a memory stick, resulting in instantly transportable video of the “person of interest” they are looking for.

Mehrer says a lot more thieves will get caught — and a lot sooner, and a lot more folks will get their stolen stuff back. 

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