Been there, done that

From the Gainesville, a story about a new ordinance that requires pawn shops to take a picture and fingerprint of customers pawning or selling items, and to make a daily electronic report to the local police.

“We have already begun seeing results that are a direct correlation to this ordinance,” police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said.


The idea is to make it harder to fence stolen goods.

It’s not a new idea. In fact, Kamaaina Loan was the first pawn shop in the country to make electronic reporting available. For Kamaaina Loan, it was voluntary. Our custom software,, has for more than 10 years provided Maui police a registry of every item we take in.

Unlike years ago, officers don’t have to come down in person with lists of stolen goods. They can survey our warehouse from their offices.

In Hawaii, pawn brokers and secondhand dealers are required by law to take fingerprints and copies of identification (usually a driver’s license) from sellers. It’s a law that is widely disregarded, especially by secondhand dealers.

They are not required to make electronic registries of purchases or pawns available to police.

You, the customer, should deal only with dealers who do demand ID and thumbprint.

Only the most ignorant of criminals try to fence stolen goods at our pawn shop. If their victim has filed a police report, and we have the goods, then we also have the name, address, photograph and fingerprint of the criminal.

Police love it when that happens. It makes their job so much easier.

Pappy’s Pawn owner Gus Marroquin, right, helps Alejandro Serrano with the purchase of a smartphone at the Browns Bridge Road pawnshop.