BAKERSFIELD, Calif - It could soon be easier for law enforcement across the state to track stolen items at pawn shops.
The California Department of Justice is creating a statewide electronic database and will require pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to report electronically to the state.
“What it’s going to do is put everyone in the same boat. Pawn brokers have always had to report everything they take in and report it to police because they’re looking for stolen property, but this will make it faster,” said Steve Magnus, owner of Globe Loan Jewelry Company in Bakersfield.
Right now the pawn shops report to local police, and police report to the state, but when the California Pawn and Secondhand Dealer System is implemented, the shops will report directly to the state.
Magnus also told 23ABC the system will force all pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to report their items.
“It puts everybody under the same umbrella and levels the playing field, so we have to report, so does everybody else."
The software for the system is still being tested. It is supposed to be implemented this year, but some local law enforcement agencies don’t know much about it.
“We don't know how the system is going to look, we don't know how it's going to work," said Sergeant Joe Grubbs with the Bakersfield Police Department.
Still, Magnus told 23ABC he believes it will be a useful tool for law enforcement.
"I thought it was a good idea because we report anyway, but not everybody does."
The California Department of Justice will also operate and maintain the system.
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