Council Member Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) has announced an additional measure from his office aimed at mitigating the effects of the national opioid epidemic on this community and New York City by modernizing the regulatory laws relating to pawn shops, in line with similar modernizations that have recently been undertaken throughout the region in response to the challenges brought by the United States’ opioid-abuse crisis.
Intro. 1411 would modernize the regulatory framework that governs the operation of pawn shops to better protect victims of petty theft and burglary by requiring responsible record keeping, increasing holding periods on pawned items, and requiring digital logs and photographs of items that can be accessed remotely by the NYPD in the course of their investigations.
Similar actions to improve the integrity of pawn shop transactions have been taken in other counties and municipalities in New York State and beyond, including Buffalo, Albany, Erie County, and Suffolk County, as the region grapples with the effects of a chronic opioid epidemic.
Borelli has the support and encouragement of Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon, and the Detective’s Endowment Association.
“As all of us who have been working for so long to mitigate the damage wrought by this crisis already know, there is no silver bullet; this is a problem which requires our consistent attention, and our strategy must always be changing in response to the environment we’re facing,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli. “Intro 1411 is intended to assist the friends and family members who each day have their possessions stolen and pawned by their own loved ones in order to support their habits, and then have no method of recovering them because their jewelry has already been melted down, the records aren’t descriptive enough to identify the item, and the police have absolutely no way of investigating beyond driving aimlessly from pawn shop to pawn shop hoping that the items are still held at one of them.”
“Those struggling with substance abuse issues in their family often face the sad reality of having their valuables stolen and pawned off by their own loved ones to help feed their addiction. We also see cases where professional burglars prey on homeowners, such as in the case of the “Ninja Burglar,” who broke into more than a hundred homes on Staten Island and then sold off people’s personal property at various pawn shops. The legislation being proposed by Councilman Borelli would give law enforcement better tools to safeguard Staten Islanders against these types of crimes so that their possessions are not lost forever,” said Richmond County District Attorney Michael McMahon.
“The detectives of the NYPD support Intro. 1411. Pawn shops are popular places for criminals to either hide or fence their stolen property, so better record keeping will create a great source of information that will aid our detectives in their investigations,” said Detective’s Endowment Association President Michael J. Palladino.