Changes are on the way for Augusta pawn shops

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News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Commission seal

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Pawn shops could be changing the way they do business. The Richmond County Sheriff's Office wants all pawn shops or stores that buy secondhand goods to use new technology.

Commissioners support the plan, but some say this change is unnecessary.

Every Tuesday, Richmond County Investigator Thelma Gilcrest comes in to pick up a floppy disk.

"She takes it and puts it in her system. We have ours here," said Mr. Pawn Manager Noel Rhoades.

Rhoades is in charge of keeping records like names, addresses and other information of anyone who comes in to make a pawn.

"This is all about bureaucracy. It's just making it easier on their end," Rhoades said.

"A lot of them don't want to do it because they have a system they are familiar with," said Maj. Scott Peebles.

The ordinance changes how pawn shops, gold-buyers and other brokers store customers' information. If approved by the full commission, the businesses would have to electronically enter all customer information along with taking fingerprints.

"It will cost the business less than a $100. The Sheriff's Office will incur most of the cause for the new system," Peebles said.

Rhoades says thieves steal things in Aiken but come here to Augusta to sell it.

"They might have it instantly with the new system. Most people steal stuff on the other side of the river because they know these two counties don't work together," Rhoades said.

Peebles is convinced this new upgrade is a step in the right direction.

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