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McHenry cuts time to 10 days for pawnshops to hold gold

McHENRY – Pawnshops and other “cash for gold” businesses no longer are required to hold gold and other precious metals on site for 30 days.

The City Council this week reduced the waiting period to 10 days.

In November, the city adopted an ordinance to regulate pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers, aiming to tackle theft and recover stolen goods being sold for
cash.

But after analysis, wording of the ordinance required revisions and clearer definitions, McHenry Police Chief John Jones said in recommending changes.

The ordinance still requires pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to log and record merchandise – used and scrapped goods – into an online database, called Leads Online.

The database allows detectives to search nationwide for stolen property in secondhand stores, scrap metal dealers, cash for gold businesses and pawnshops.

But before Monday’s revision, businesses were required to hold merchandise on site for 30 days and make items available for police inspection.

Over time, some businesses raised concerns about that length of time and particularly a potentially adverse effect on dealing in gold and other precious metals.

The value of gold fluctuates every day, and “We don’t want to significantly hinder businesses from being as successful as they can be,” “ Deputy Chief John Birk said.

As long as business keep a record of the transactions, the revised ordinance also exempts from the holding period coins, paper currency and bullion with no characteristics that distinguish it from other such items, as well as junk and scrap metal items.

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