The Lacey City Council has changed its law to extend the waiting period between the time items are purchased by pawn shops and secondhand dealers and the time those items are resold to the public.
The goal is to increase the number of stolen items that are caught before they can be resold.
Lacey’s law allowed pawn shop owners and secondhand-item dealers to hold purchased items for just four days before putting the items on the shelf for resale. State law calls for a 30-day waiting period.
The city’s four-day turnaround was unrealistic.
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The goal of holding on to items — whether four days or a month — is to give law enforcement officers time to determine whether the items are stolen. A family whose home was burglarized while they were on vacation might not even know the items are missing until the four-day waiting period has passed.
That’s why we salute the Lacey City Council for extending the waiting period to the full 30 days called for in state law.
The issue came to light after clerks at the Cabela’s outdoor store resold a stolen firearm in July within one week of purchase.
Cabela’s reported the firearm’s serial number to the police department, according to Chief Dusty Pierpoint. By the time the investigation revealed the gun was stolen, it had been resold.
“Nobody did anything wrong,” Pierpoint said, saying Cabela’s acted within Lacey’s existing law. “Four days is not enough time for the typical paperwork to make its rounds.”
The firearm later was recovered.
It’s good to see pawn shop owners and secondhand dealers working together with police to ensure that stolen items are not resold. And along that line, it’s good to have the waiting period extended from four days to a full month in Lacey.