Manatee County Commission to consider amendment affecting secondhand goods dealers

skennedy@bradenton.comMarch 12, 2014 

A dryer sits on the sidewalk on Ninth Street West at Bill's Discount and Used Appliances in downtown Bradenton. Manatee County commissioners considered an amendment, which could affect secondhand goods dealers.TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

TTOMPKINS@BRADENTON.COM Buy Photo

MANATEE -- A newly passed ordinance designed to help law enforcement officers more easily track stolen goods will return to the Manatee County Commission for possible amendment.

The commission voted Tuesday to ask its attorney to draft an amendment to the ordinance passed last month, which stiffened rules affecting secondhand goods dealers.

The amendment would add to the ordinance's provisions regarding household appliances, at the request of builders and sheriff's office investigators.

Britt Williams, president of Bruce Williams Homes, said one of the most susceptible items to theft are home appliances at construction sites or installed in newly built homes. He asked the commission to include home appliances, along with jewelry and electronics, in the ordinance.

"My concern is you left the appliances out, and from our experience, it's one of the most susceptible items in the theft from construction sites," he told the commission at its meeting at County Admin

istrative Center.

The amendment would include appliances in the ordinance, and require they be kept onsite by the secondhand dealer for a 30-day holding period.

"Law enforcement needs this valuable time to investigate property obtained illegally," said Alan Anderson, executive vice president for the Manatee Sarasota Building Industry Association, which represents more than 130 builders.

The commission passed an ordinance last month imposing additional regulations on transactions by secondhand dealers involving jewelry and electronic devices, but not household appliances.

Under the ordinance, a dealer must collect and maintain an image of the seller, the seller's ID and of the item sold.

It also required dealers to maintain such items on their premises for 30 days. Most secondhand goods dealers didn't realize they already had to hold them for 15 days under the terms of state law, said Detective Terry Kipp, of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Jimmy Lake, manager at Bill's Discount Center LLC, 1001 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, said he opposed to having to hang onto appliances for up to 30 days.

"I oppose it -- if I buy stuff by bulk out of a big complex, there's no way in hell it's stolen," said Lake. "I feel they need to crack down on scrapyards if they're going to do us. They're going to do what they want to do, anyway."

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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