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Statesboro pawnshop cited

Honest John’s first to be found in violation of new city ordinance

Police cited a local pawnshop’s owner and employees for violating a recently adopted city ordinance requiring the recording of information about pawned or sold items.

Clayton James Moxley, 67, John Clayton Moxley, 42, and Brian James Stenski, 29, were all cited as owners and employees of Honest John’s Pawn Shop “for several violations of the ‘Pawnbrokers, Secondhand Dealers, and Dealers in Precious Metals and Gems’ ordinance,” Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said Tuesday. “This ordinance was adopted earlier this year by Statesboro City Council.”

Both council and the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners adopted the pawnshop ordinance in April.

The citations were part of ongoing compliance checks regarding the new ordinances, which require businesses that “buy back items from the public to consistently record and hold all purchases for a predetermined amount of time,” he said.

John Moxley said Honest John’s has always had a great working relationship with the city of Statesboro and he intends to maintain compliance with the ordinances, but he feels there are some “bugs” that need to be worked out. Because the ordinance is new, he said, his business should have received warnings instead of citations.

“There were a couple of ordinances we obviously violated by not getting tickets (pawned items) entered in a timely manner,” he said. “And there was one serial number we could not find.”

The ordinance requires pawnbrokers to record serial numbers and other identification of all items pawned and requires the businesses to hold the items for a certain period of time before reselling them. This allows law enforcement detectives and investigators time to track possibly stolen items that may have been pawned or sold.

“All businesses that fall under the new ordinances have been being checked for compliance,” Turner said. “The Statesboro Police Department does appreciate the work that these businesses have done to comply with the ordinances. Honest John’s Pawn Shop is the first business to have citations issued as a result of the compliance checks.”

The specific ordinances Honest John’s violated involved reporting information to police, holding periods and recording information, Turner said.

Moxley said he feels city officials were not completely forthcoming in “selling” the tracking system to pawnshop owners. He said he was told his computer system would “integrate with the city’s, but it doesn’t. It costs me a few extra hours a day” to comply with the ordinances.

“I’m a pawnshop owner, and I don’t have time to investigate crimes,” he said. “I have no ill will with the city but I do feel they misrepresented the system.”

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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