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Police Recommend Extending Ban On New Pawn Shops

A pawn shop store front

Police say a moratorium on new pawn shops in Springfield is helping control crime in western Massachusetts.

Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri is recommending the city council extend the ban on new pawn shop licenses which is set to expire at the end of June.  Barbieri said the 42 pawn shops and junk dealers currently licensed in the city is a manageable number for police to keep tabs on.

" If you have an item stolen, you want the police department to have a fair shot to make the rounds of all the second hand , junk dealers, and pawn shops to make every effort to try to recover your property," said Barbieri.

In a report to the city council’s Public Safety Committee, Springfield police detailed more than a dozen cases where jewelry, electronics, and other property stolen from residences throughout western Massachusetts were recovered from pawn shops.

In addition to the moratorium on new stores, the city in 2014 put tougher record keeping requirements on pawn shops.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.