At a press conference this afternoon,
"As I've said repeatedly, there is nothing more important to our citizens than public safety," said Kamenetz. "I appreciate the
"As Chair of the Council, I have worked closely with the County Executive and Chief Johnson to address the increased thefts of cell phones and other portable devices that are now commonplace in our society," said
At this morning's press conference, the County Executive praised Chief Johnson and the men and women of the
"This past summer, Chief Johnson brought two important issues to my attention: the use of automated purchasing machines to dispose of cell phones and the unregulated purchase of cell phones and other portable electronics by dealers, making it easy for criminals to sell recently stolen items," said the County Executive. "Since that time, I have been working closely with the Chief and the
"I have a number of very vibrant shopping and entertainment areas in my district, as well as hospitals and universities," said
The bills describe "portable electronic devices" as "any portable, battery-powered device with a serial number capable of facilitating communication through voice, data, text, or other visual or auditory format."
Bill Bans Automated Purchasing Machines in
The first piece of legislation to be introduced on Monday night bans the use of Automated Purchasing Machines for the purpose of buying portable electronic devices in
"I am very pleased that the County is moving forward to take on the issue of cell phone thefts," said
Second Bill Eliminates Cash Payments for Sale of Cell Phones and
The second bill being introduced will license electronic device dealers in the County. This bill will:
Require those businesses that buy pre-owned electronic devices to obtain a license to operate in
Prohibit licensed dealers from paying the seller of an electronic device in cash. According to the police, for the criminals among us, cash is king. The legislation defines "cash" as cash, pre-paid debit cards and ATM withdrawals. Chief Johnson believes that this step will be an immediate deterrent for criminals targeting County citizens.
Require dealers to report all purchases daily to the
Require dealers to hold all items for 18 days, which is currently a requirement for dealers of secondhand precious metals. This particular element of the legislation is very important because the County wants to give the police department every opportunity to recover the stolen item and return it to its rightful owner.
Require dealers to turn a stolen item over to the police department once the item has been identified as stolen property.
"This is straight forward, common-sense legislation. It recognizes that electronic devices are a part of our everyday lives and removes the incentive for criminals to steal them," concluded Kamenetz. "And the bill is fair to legitimate business owners because it allows them to continue to sell electronic devices; they just cannot pay their customers in cash. Removing cash from the equation will reduce crime. That is good for everyone."
"This proposed legislation will significantly reduce the theft and violent crime often associated with these electronic devices," stated
"These common sense proposals will not only limit the number of quick-paying opportunity crimes, but will also provide my office with solid evidence to get a conviction when a crime occurs," commented
The Council will hold a work session on the legislation on
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