For a second time, the Frankfort Village Board on Monday passed a preowned merchandise ordinance designed to crackdown on the sale of stolen goods to local pawn shops and resale stores.
The new ordinance requires resale shops to follow these measures:
- Merchants must keep information on customers selling merchandise for at least two years.
- Items purchased from a customer for $10 or more must be documented, which includes a photograph.
- Merchants can't buy anything from someone younger than 18; someone convicted of theft, burglary, robbery or armed robbery; or someone intoxicated.
- Reports of items purchased must be sent to the police department by noon the next day (sporting goods purchased for less than $30 are exempt).
- Items purchased for $30 or more cannot be sold for five days.
- Failure comply with the ordinace will result in a $250 fine for the first offense and a $500 fine for offenses after that.
This was the second time the ordinance has gone before the board. Originally passed Feb. 22, the new legislation raised the ire of some local shop owners who felt it was too restrictive and a burden on them. One merchant, John Carroll, franchise owner for Play It Again Sports, which resells used sporting goods, wrote a letter to village adminstrators, complaning about the restrictive measures.
Village officials, including Mayor Jim Holland, took that note to heart and repealed the orginal ordinace. They then worked with Carroll to redraft the legislation so it was more palatable to local shop owners.
Although many of the points of contention were addressed, Carroll still had issues with the final bill, which he addressed in somewhat heated discussions with village officials at last week's Land Use and Policy Committee, which recommended the new draft.
Carroll said his business would be unneecessarily burdened by needing to take digital photos--and storing them--of items he would buy for $10 or more. Because he deals in a lot of mass-manufactured merchandise that looks similar--such as baseball bats and gloves--he said he didn't see the benefit in the measure, adding that he would be more agreeable to it if the threshold were raised to merchandise purchased for $30 or more.
"It's purely a dollar limit thing," Carroll said at last week's Land Use and Policy Committee meeting. "The pure volume of items we get at that ($10) level is the problem. That adds up to a lot of our time."
But Village Administrator Jerry said at that meeting that the dollar amount didn't seem that restrictive, and Frankfort Police Chief John Burica said the department would help Carroll get set up with a digital camera and memory stick.
Committee members said they were sympathetic to Carroll's concerns and complimented his business practices, but they contended that this type of ordinance, which is being advocated by Will County officials, is, unfortunately, designed to stop shops that are less than reputable.
"This ordinance is not written for ideal situations," Ducay said. "This ordinance is written to stop situations that are unfortunately happening in our community."
Mayor Holland added: "We want business in Frankfort, and we want your business in Frankfort. ... But we need to protect our citizens from people who would want to do them harm, to protect them from these types of theives. ... We want this stopped."
Carroll said he was disappointed with the committee's recommendation of the ordinance after last week's meeting.
"I'm not happy about this, and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do," he said. "I'm not sure (village officials) have an appreciation for the work this will take."