City Council approves new rules to help police track down stolen items

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The City Council approved new rules to make it easier for police to identify thieves and track down stolen property.

Theft victims often describe feeling like they've been violated, when someone breaks in takes their stuff. But just as frustrating for police is when they find your stolen property in a pawn shop and go to retrieve it, only to learn that it has already been sold to an unsuspecting buyer in a perfectly legal transaction.

Now a city ordinance requires pawn shops to hold items for at least 10 days, to give victims time to discover the theft and detectives an opportunity to track it down.

"It's hard to tell the victim, well we know so and so did your item, but your item is no longer there," said Det. Jeff Mehrer of the KCPD. "That can be hard on a person if it's a family heirloom or something like that."

The new law also requires pawn shops to have a video recording of each item they take in, showing the seller's face. The video must be kept for 60 days.

Last year Kansas City police recovered 450 stolen items in pawn shops.

The 16 Kansas City pawn shops did not oppose the changes, some even told FOX 4 that they already have been doing what the ordinance requires.