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Proposed changes to secondhand dealer ordinance

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 18:33:11-04

Proposed changes to Omaha's secondhand dealer ordinance would help the city crack down on those pilfering property, while reuniting more owners with their stolen goods, according to a letter to the city.

The city attorney's office is in favor of the tweaks proposed by city councilor Pete Festerson. Secondhand dealers are similar to antiques shops, but deal with more current goods.

The changes go before the Omaha City Council on Tuesday.

Festerson is proposing secondhand dealers keep an electronic log of items they purchase and who they purchase from. The system would be similar to the pawn and salvage ordinances.

James Kavan, who owns the secondhand Imaginarium shops downtown and in Old Market, says the changes would only make more work for him and investigators.

He says a handful of times, he'll purchase items from someone off the street, while pawn shops have a much higher volume of those sales. Kavan says he doesn't buy electronics, bikes, or golf clubs because those are frequently stolen pieces of property.

"Most of the things coming to us are, 'hey my mom passed away and I have all this china,'" Kavan said. Or, 'I have her giant collection of cat figurines."