Pawn Shops Fined For Violating City Ordinance

Pawn Shops Fined For Violating City OrdinanceFor at least the past six years, the city of Aurora has been trying to stop the pawning  of stolen goods. In 2007, the City Council passed an ordinance on scrap and pawn shop businesses to try and put a stop to these practices.

According to the ordinance—which currently governs 92 businesses in the area—brokers must follow a string of instructions, such as: ask for a photo ID, take a picture of the ID, check the name against the banned sellers list, record the time and date of the sale, take a picture of the item bought, record all the biographical information with an online system that police can check daily and, finally, hold most items for 30 days before re-selling them. Although the ordinance was slightly lessened in March to allow some items to be photographed in bulk, or unidentifiable items to not be documented, many brokers considered it to be nothing more than a pain.

Originally, police would track violations through a real-time website called LeadsOnline, and were successful in catching multiple people who were selling stolen merchandise—including a man who sold 23 Aurora sewer grates to a scrapyard.

However, last summer was the first time the police went undercover to see if the businesses were actually following protocol. Of the nine businesses inspected, seven of them had at least one violation—some had as many as five. The Beacon News (A Chicago Sun-Times publication) reported in this article that, while the city had the option to close down the businesses, they instead issued a $1,000 fine. Officials stated they believe the fine will send a strong message while avoiding litigation that could cost thousands of taxpayers’ dollars. Since it was the first undercover inspection, officials think there may have been some confusion about the ordinance beforehand.

Since the first inspection, no more violations have been found.

Understanding the law in regards to business practices can be confusing at times. If you’re struggling with business-related legal issues, getting answers from an experienced lawyer can help take away some stress. Contact our law firm in either Naperville or Oak Brook today.



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