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California city temporarily bans pawn shops

Sep 27, 2012 Quinn Thomas

California city temporarily bans pawn shops
When times are tough and banks aren't approving many traditional loans, many people turn to short term lenders for their fast cash needs. This is also true for a large subset of the population who don't have good credit and need extra help even in times of economic stability.
 Pawn shops are a great source of loans for people struggling financially. They can use personally owned items as collateral to borrow, and reclaim their property when they pay back the amount. However, in a number of places, lawmakers have installed regulations that limit the scope of such companies in certain areas, adversely affecting citizens looking for alternative loans. Such is the case in a California city, where the city council passed a temporary, emergency ordinance banning new pawn shops from being opened within city limits. Rialto bans growth
According to the Contra Costa Times, the Rialto, California, City Council drafted a temporary law on September 11 that forbids new storefronts from opening in the city. The source said this is because of an increase in pawn shop-related crimes in the area recently, including the arrests of three robbers in the last month. The 45-day ban was put in place to eliminate crime until more permanent laws could be created by the local government. The source reported while more established pawn shops are taking the necessary precautions to document transactions and prevent stolen items from being sold or pawned, newer shops, particularly cash-for-gold companies, aren't following the same best practices. "They're not following any of the regulations you would have for a standard pawn or jewelry store," City Administrator Mike Story told the Times. Other options available
While the moratorium may be temporarily effective in stopping crime, citizens are paying the price. They don't have the avenues available to provide fast cash needed to account for many emergency situations or make it through until they are able to see solid income. An alternative option that is working for brokers in many areas is adopting laws requiring the use of databases to record transactions. The records, often shared with local law enforcement, help identify sellers and pawners and the items they bring in, which can come in handy if police get a report involving stolen items. Many police officers and pawn brokers have worked together in Maryland and New Hampshire, among other states, to catch criminals and allow consumers to go about their borrowing plans.