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Secondhand dealer law could come to Cayuga County

AUBURN — The Cayuga County Legislature is considering a secondhand dealer law to help cut down on theft and drug use in the county.

The local law would require secondhand dealers to apply for a license and be fingerprinted. Dealers will also be required to maintain records on their goods including the amount the dealer paid for an item, a detailed description of it, the serial or model number if there is one, a photograph of the item and other information. Dealers will also take down identification information from the seller, including the seller's name, date of birth, address and a photocopy of their driver's license or other identification.

Records are put into a database so if something is reported stolen, law enforcement can scroll through to see if that item had been sold to a dealer. 

Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann said the law will not only help cut down on theft in the county, but will help cut down on drug use. He said very often those with a drug addiction will steal something and pawn it to get cash for drugs. He said by bringing someone in on a larceny charge, the court could potentially get him or her into a drug treatment program. It may also help with finding drug dealers, he said, by working with other counties to track where thefts may be happening and how they could be linked.

"It has the potential to do a lot of good," Budelmann said about the proposed law. 

The law would not apply to garage sales or church bazaars. It would not apply to antique dealers either, unless they were handling jewelry.

Cayuga County based the language of the proposed law off of Onondaga County's, said County Attorney Fred Westphal. Legislators had discussed the law earlier this year, but the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services asked for revisions to the section about fingerprinting. 

"They're satisfied with the language, and that should move the local law forward," Westphal said.

Legislators have passed a resolution through committee, setting a public hearing on the local law next month. Should the Legislature pass that resolution at its full meeting Thursday night, the hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 24 in the Sixth Floor Chambers of the Cayuga County Office Building, 160 Genesee St., Auburn. 

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.


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