COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA(KPTM)-- Talk to any pawn shop owner and chances are he or she will tell you they're all too aware of the stigma that exists in their industry. The one that suggests their shops are a place where stolen goods are passed on.
That's why some pawn shop owners in Council Bluffs have no problem with the new regulations requiring everyone selling or pawning used goods to have their picture taken and saved for at least a year.
It's actually something David Drake has been doing since he opened Metro Pawn and Loan 10 years ago.
"I always said the first time someone refused for me to take their photo would be the time that I didn't take their merchandise and in the 10 years I've been in business, I've never had someone refuse," he said.
Right now, pawn shops are required to take a fingerprint, signature and check a photo ID for anyone selling or pawning items.
But IDs aren't fool-proof. Detective Ron Branigan said an ID can easily be faked and if those items do turn up as stolen it's much more difficult to track down the person who sold it.
Drake said his store averages less than a dozen items turning up stolen a year.
He said he's more than happy to be able to give police evidence when something does turn up as stolen.
The new ordinance is a good thing to him because he said it should help level the playing field between stores like his and those that don't already take precautions.
"I want everyone to have to do it. I think it's a tool that police will have to use to crack down on crime," he said. "If the criminal has the ability to take something somewhere else where they don't have to follow the same rules than it just makes it easier for them to get rid of the product."
The new rules cover all second-hand dealers such as the "We buy gold" shops and antique dealers.
The shops will be required to save the pictures for at least a year.