Friday, March 24, 2023

Smile, You’re On Camera


Councilors Tackle Stolen Goods and Getting Rt. 66 on National Trails

In an effort to curtail the fencing of stolen goods, at their Nov. 2 meeting, Albuquerque City Councilors passed sweeping new rules for not only pawn shops but precious metal dealers, secondhand retailers and even those automated kiosks that purchase small electronics such as cell phones.

Breaking the Cycle

It took about three years to bring this overhaul to the government meeting table. It will impact about 150 businesses and 15 pawn shops. Councilor Diane Gibson brought the idea up in 2017 to overhaul the ordinance already on the books, which required the pawnbrokers to do some due diligence and tell police about certain types of transactions. But police and crime stats said this was not enough. The new ordinance applies to secondhand guns, jewelry, tools, precious metals and stones, musical instruments, sporting goods and consumer electronics such as mobile phones, televisions, digital cameras and computers. According to the city’s legal beagles, these are the items that are rotating in and out of the crime cycle.

Smile You’re On Camera!

A trip to the pawn shop to unload some bling will now require a photograph of the seller and the item. Retailers will also have to document the item’s serial number (if possible) as well as the seller’s name, address and date of birth. By doing all this, Albuquerque Police Department Sgt. Jeff Barnard said police would have the ability to compare pawned goods against those reported stolen. The measure was not unanimous, as Councilor Don Harris voted in the negative, saying it was too much regulation. It will take more officers and more man hours; but if stolen goods fencing is the huge problem we all know it is, then putting some additional officers on this gets a thumbs-up.

Quick Hits

  • Councilors postponed putting a 2-cent tax on each gallon of petrol we put in our tanks. They will take this up at a future meeting.
  • Approved urging the United States Congress to designate the 2,400 miles of Route 66 Historic Trail that goes from Chicago, Ill., to Santa Monica, Calif., as part of the National Trails system. This will allow Rt. 66 to get some love and money from the Secretary of Interior.
  • Councilors approved an update of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program Manual which will give neighborhoods with inconsiderate fast drivers an easier path to get speed humps and other traffic-calming measures installed.
  • Burqueños stepping up to the plate include Loreno R. Jim and Kim Benally to the Commission on American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, Andrew C. Ortega to the EMS Providers Advisory Committee, Regina E. Mead to the ParaTransit Advisory Board, Shawn M. Maden to the Affordable Housing Committee, Dr. Ian Medoro to the EMS Medical Control Board, Wendy Santiesteban to the ABQ Volunteers Advisory Board, Reese L. Carson to the Municipal Golf Advisory Board, Mona Ghattas to the Albuquerque Development Commission, Wilton Rogers III and Victor Griego to the Accountability in Government Oversight Committee. [ ]

The next meeting of the Albuquerque City Council meeting is set for 5pm Nov. 16. Watch it at GOV TV at or on Comcast Cable Channel 16.


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