On The Lookout: Proposed Second-Hand Sale Laws - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

On The Lookout: Proposed Second-Hand Sale Laws

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WICOMICO CO., Md. - With one click of a mouse, shopping for used jewelry, electronics or even copper wire is made easy.

But investigators worry that criminals are spinning a tangled web online by selling stolen goods.

"It can be, you know, the knick knack and widgets from your home that are thousands and millions of them purchased annually and they are just moved again on the Internet much like somebody that yard sales," said Sgt. David Owens.

The issue says Sgt. Owens of WBI, is sites like eBay and Craiglists can immediately sell "second-hand items" without a waiting period unlike pawn shops in Maryland.

John Robinson, owner of Robinson's Family of Businesses says "you're supposed to do your paperwork on it and hold it for 18 days if it's anything that's been brought in over-the-counter."

"It's hard to necessarily track the way things are set up now who is point person or seller," said Owens. "We need to be able to search and quarry that system more."

That may change.

A bill could be voted on this year, implementing a holding period for online second-hand sales.

Del. Norman Conway (D-Dist. 38B) says he's currently weighing options for the potential bill.

"How they discard it and get money for it and what do we need in specific requirements that could benefit the authorities," said Conway.

Even without new laws, Owens says a little help from victims goes along way with recovery.

"You say to the police officer that's handling the case, 'hey, I saw [my stolen item]. Here's a copy of it, I saw it on eBay' and let law enforcement try to take the next step for you.

"In those second-hand sales, requiring the detail and description and the standards of holding selling for a number of days, kind of the same thing in line with the pawn laws, would make law enforcement have a chance to identity the properties."

Maryland General Assembly heads back into session on January 8th. The bill is still in its preliminary stages.

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