A quick review of the crimes that increased last year indicated property crimes are a growing area of concern. Specifically, residential burglaries were up substantially. With a key element of our mission being that of solving problems and reducing crime, staff began to look at new and innovative ways to reverse our upward burglary trend. We found in recent years burglars were looking specifically for precious metal items (most often jewelry, silverware, etc). With this information at hand, our Property Crimes Unit sergeant, Chad Nagorski, began to look at best practices across the country for addressing burglaries targeting precious metals. Sgt. Nagorski found more and more cities were turning to legislation that addressed the private sales of precious metals and created an ordinance. We notified affected stores last year and met with these businesses earlier this winter to obtain their thoughts and concerns on the proposed ordinance. As a result of feedback from businesses obtained during these meetings, several changes were made to the proposed ordinance.
The precious metals ordinance simply requires the buyer of the goods to obtain identification of the seller and register the items in a data base (a pawn shop data base) which will allow investigators to search for items taken via a data base at their finger tips. I am confident that through innovative initiatives like this, we will make a difference in the number of burglaries we investigate each year. We also know several area cities are also interesting in this approach.