Pawn shops and gold buyers in Arnold will now be required to hold gold, silver and any other precious jewelry they buy for at least 15 days before selling or melting it, according to a new ordinance passed by the city council Thursday night.
The ordinance also requires stores to copy the drivers license of customers selling precious metals and jewelry,take a photo of the item being purchased, and write up a receipt. The stores will need to keep this information on file for at least a year.
Chief of Police Robert Shockey said that pawn shops will be "getting a break" as they were still operating under an older ordinance that required them to hold items for 30 days. The 15 day holding period would level the playing field between businesses, he said.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Michelle Hohmeier said that requiring gold buyers to hold items for any length of time and adding extra paper work would be an undue burden to their business.
"There's a lot more than them not getting rid of something in 15 days,” she said. “I think you're better off having that open communication, truthfully, between the police department and the people in the pawn shops. By doing this we're supposing that they're already taking in illegal things and that they know they have stolen property. We're being prejudiced. "
Shockey said that police talk to all the city's gold buyers or pawn shops every day to keep in touch.
Previously, gold buyers were only required to hold items for two days before they could melt it down. Shockey said that too many times his officers would track stolen jewelry to a gold buyer who had already melted the item.
The ordinance passed five to two, with Michelle Hohmeier and Ward 1 Councilwoman Doris Borgelt voting against it.