As part of Lacey Township’s continuing effort to better protect and serve the public and limit the likelihood of victimization through burglaries and thefts, the township committee enacted a new ordinance related to pawn shops and precious metal dealers. Ordinance §161-1 et seq. now requires that local shops that purchase pawned property or precious metals participate in an online system of immediately logging all items purchased by the shops for immediate access and inspection by the Lacey Township Police Department. Based on the new system, participating shops will be required to photograph the property, the seller, and the seller’s identification so the information can be uploaded to a specially designed online program that is searchable by police officials. The ordinance also requires that all property purchased by the pawn shop or precious metal dealers be held on site for at least 10 days. This expanded hold period allows victims the opportunity to recover stolen items before they are resold or sent off site to be melted down.
The Lacey Township Police Department has successfully solved several burglaries using the online system which has been in place for pawn shops in the Atlantic City area. Once the program is fully implemented in Lacey Township as required by the new ordinance, those intent upon selling stolen items will be quickly identified by the police department. Other municipalities throughout Ocean County, and eventually the entire state, will likely implement this system which will virtually eliminate the opportunity to quickly sell stolen items. Any secondhand dealer who violates the requirements of the new ordinance will lose their license to operate in Lacey Township.