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Thumbprint and Photograph Required In Philly To Sell Gold

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Ronnie Polaneczky
Philadelphia Daily News
June 21, 2010


Pennsylvania’s pawn industry is already heavily regulated by the state’s Banking Department.

When a client pawns an item, he must produce a state-issued photo ID and Social Security number. That information, along with a description of the pawned item, is entered onto paper forms shared with Philadelphia Police. District officers are supposed to fetch the forms at the end of each business day.

Retrieving the data on a daily basis is a ridiculous task in a city that needs its officers chasing perps, not paper. As for sifting through thousands of daily entries, investigators told me it’s a near-impossible task.

Bill No. 090910 will bring operations up to date, and then some.

It requires operators of pawn shops and precious-metals businesses (think cash-for-gold) to snap a digital photo of each customer and to obtain both an electronic imprint of the client’s left thumb and a copy of the client’s state-issued photo ID.

The info, plus photos and descriptions of items being pawned or sold, must then be entered into an Internet-accessible tracking system and uploaded daily to the Police Department’s major-crimes unit.

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This article was posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 at 11:00 am

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