The Newark city council recently approved a law which requires pawn shops and secondhand dealers of cell phones to keep detailed records of every phone they purchase.
The new law comes in response to a rise in theft crimes throughout Newark.
The legislation calls for sellers of cell phones to provide cell phone dealers with at least two pieces of identification. One of the pieces of identification must include a photo ID.
Enforcement of the law is expected to be strict. Cell phone dealers must provide the information to police officers upon request.
The mandatory registration system will require cell phone dealers to keep up-to-date records of each and every cell phone they buy. These records must include each phone’s serial number and model number.
Since cell phone dealers must have accurate records, they will be prohibited from purchasing phones with altered serial numbers.
Anyone who violates the law will be subject to a fine of between $100 and $500. In certain cases, offenders could be sentenced to up to 60 days in the county jail.
The legislation was unanimously approved by the Newark city council. According to the North Ward councilman who proposed the law, the crackdown on cell phone theft is necessary because theft of movable property such as cell phones has become very profitable in Newark. The councilman observed that people who walk on the street with cell phones are easy targets for criminals because it’s no different than walking around with a hundred dollar bill.
To learn more, view the NJ.com article entitled “Newark Council Approves Pawn Shop Law to Curb Cell Phone Thefts.”