The Turlock Police held an educational meeting at Turlock City Hall in regards to Secondhand Dealer Licensing.
The long range plan of enforcing state law that places stipulations on how businesses getting secondhand tangible personal property from the public is to stem the tide of stolen merchandise not being accounted for.
The crime rate in Turlock decreased about 18% over the last two years. Police Chief Gary Hampton said he believed that crime stats could be down 20% if it wasn’t for an increase in property crimes.
Hampton pointed out that while looking at crime stats, Turlock Police began analyzing why they could curve other crime stats but not the property crime increase.
Included in property crimes are burglaries, while commonly stolen goods are smaller items that can be taken and sold easily such as jewelry, athletic equipment, laptops, video gaming systems, video games, and other small electronics.
Secondhand Dealer Licensing will require businesses dealing in secondhand property to register with the Department of Justice through the Turlock Police.
Businesses licensed with the DOJ through the police are required to fill out a report of secondhand tangible property received from the public that includes the customer’s identity, address, California ID, property description, serial number, and other details of the transaction. This report must be submitted to the police and items received must be held for 30 days.
Turlock Police have stated that there are Secondhand Dealers licensed, although only one jewelry store (Vail Creek) is in compliance. There were about a handful of Jewelers at the meeting TPD held.
Jewelers are facing many issues with these licensing stipulations, putting an immense strain on their business.
Because of the nature of their business, especially with the economy and the increased price of gold, they engage in many secondhand buys, trades, sales, or consignments, and will now have to hire more labor to fill out what could be thousands of reports describing all the merchandise.
Jewelry stores may also take in $10,000s worth of goods in a week and have to sit on that for 30 days.
Some jewelry stores may be impacted by $30,000 plus a year because of the reporting process. One jeweler reported only having $1,050 worth of stolen property confiscated last year as the business compared the impacts of these licensing requirements.
These requirements are in addition to the loop holes that include the “we buy gold” mail orders, flea market business, and now popular gold parties that legitimate permanent local businesses have to compete with.
The Turlock Police Department will address any business or person violating Secondhand Dealer laws the same way they are trying to help permanent city businesses comply with the law, to work with them to get in compliance.
Some businesses don’t see these practices viable while there are loop holes that local law enforcement agencies can’t address.
Turlock Police are first working to forge partnerships with local businesses in an effort to curtail property crimes and stolen merchandise sales, businesses would also like to help work toward preventing the dissemination of stolen property but don’t know if it is practicable to stay in business in a city enforcing state laws that are not realistic with loop holes for their competitors.
The Secondhand Dealer License application fee is $195 and an additional $32 for each fingerprint submission to be paid at the Live Scan site. There is a $10 renewal free every other year.
To get a Secondhand Dealer Information packet or to get questions answered, contact Turlock Police Captain Mike Langston at (209) 664-7370.