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September 9, 2013

Businesses oppose online filing of purchases

Peru police say new ordinance would help solve thefts, burglaries.

PERU — The Peru City Council tabled an ordinance requiring pawnshops, secondhand stores, jewelry shops and metals dealers to enter every purchase into an online database after local shop owners complained the new requirement would be too costly.

The proposed ordinance requires businesses to record each transaction and details of every purchased item, along with the name, date of birth and address of the seller, and submit it to an online program.

The ordinance would also require dealers to hold items for at least 24 hours at the business after purchase. Violation of the ordinance would result in a fine up to $500.

Council members heard nearly 90 minutes of testimony Tuesday from business owners, who said the ordinance would place an unnecessary burden on their stores and create hundreds of hours of extra work every year.

Kelly Habayeb, owner of Secondary Metal Processing, 116 E. 9th St., said submitting every purchase online wasn’t feasible for his scrap metal company.

“We’re a small business,” he said. “We’re not Microsoft or IBM. We don’t have the resources that these businesses have. We have five people in our office, and believe me, we’re not overstaffed.”

He said his company already keeps detailed written records of people selling scrap, including photos and personal information, and the new system would be redundant.

Since 1917, the city has required pawnshops and secondhand stores to keep written records of each purchase and submit it to the police department every day.

The online program, however, requires more detailed descriptions of each purchased item.

Stacy Mize, who works at the secondhand store No Pawn, 9 W. 2nd St., said those extra submission requirements could require up to 24 hours of extra work a week.

“The cost of the equipment and labor is a huge burden to all us business owners, from what I’ve seen,” she said, noting her secondhand store would have to buy a computer and internet service to fulfill the new requirements.

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