News Section: Local Government
Secondhand Goods Ordinance Comes Back for a Second Look
BRADENTON -- Manatee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) representatives believed that Manatee County Commissioners understood the principal behind the new Regulation of Secondhand Dealers Ordinance No. 14-12 passed on February 25, but came back to redress the extent to which the problem has grown. It is not just for personal property, the Sheriff's office is also asking for more time to find, but builders and appliance companies say they are suffering from the big-time boosting as well.
At Tuesday's meeting, Manatee Sarasota Building Association's Executive Vice President, Alan Anderson, alerted commissioners to the growing problem of brand new home appliance theft and how unlikely it is they will ever recover their stolen property.
"The Sheriff needs more than 15 days to find property." Anderson said.
Britt Williams, President of Bruce Williams Homes, was right behind Anderson and agreed, "15 days is not enough time."
Sometimes before builders have even finished building the house, someone kicks in the door and then steals the refrigerator and stove from the vacant house.
When Ordinance 14-12 passed, some of the commissioners insisted the 30 day hold-over period MCSO was asking for, was too much to expect from play-by-the-rules dealers; they voted to cap it at 15 days.
Many dealers, especially consignment shops, say they can't afford the 30 days of storage, and that no one gets paid until the item gets sold.
MCSO Det. Terry Kipp, who joined other MCSO officials at the 2/25 introduction of Ordinance No. 14-12, returned Tuesday, and said, "We understand what they are going through (consignment owners), but it is just too difficult and too much to cover in just 15 days," (Currently the State Statute is 15 days).
Kipp added, "It's not just homeowners, builders and appliance companies that have to deal with this, Rent-to-Own customers sometimes sell the stuff as quick as they can pick it up." Kipp says some companies don't even know their stuff is missing for days or weeks.
The commission consensus was to attempt a rewrite (with no promises) of the referencing to appliance exemption in Ordinance No. 14-12, passed 2/25/2014.
County Attorney Micky Palmer said, "It isn't going to be easy. We are going to have to define, What is the ripple effect?" Palmer added, "You can vote to reconsider, then instruct my office to advertise a minor amendment only, but you must re-advertise."
Commissioner Gallen made a motion to bring back the ordinance for an amended vote. It was approved unanimously.
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