FRUITLAND It is a struggle in Fruitland between public safety and individual rights. The Fruitland Police Department is trying to get in line with modern technology when it comes to stolen items taken in to be pawned, but the two pawn shops in town are resisting.
At the World's Largest Pawn Shop, owner Kevin Thompson is taking a stand.
I believe in our constitution, I believe what our country was founded on, said Thompson.
The Fruitland City Council recently passed an ordinance that will force its pawn shops to start registering all their items into an online data base.
It's not the position of the United States government, city government, county government any government to just collect a data base on people that haven't broken the law, said Thompson.
Chief of Police J.D. Huff says Leads Online is a nationwide website used to track property stolen that is then pawned. He says over 2,500 law enforcement agencies and many pawn shops around the country already use it.
I can understand where that can be a little frustrating, said Huff. At the same time it's got to be frustrating for the victims of property crimes who are hoping that the city of Fruitland Police can take these pawn slips and identify their property if it happens to be stolen in Illinois or another state.
In Boise, Vista Pawn, one of the largest pawn chains in Southwest Idaho uses Leads Online and has been since 2003.
It kind of helps close the gap between when somebody pawns it and when they get caught pawning it or taking it, said Allen Graefe who manages the Vista Pawn shop on State Street.
Vista Pawn uploads specific descriptions of every item they take in, including the serial number allowing police to find it. Then they also upload a detailed description of who brought it in.
We get their full information. We have their valid state ID, a signature and a thumb print from them, said Graefe.
For Thompson that is where the problem lies...
What we have a problem with the release of personal information when they haven't committed a crime, said Thompson.
He would like the city of Fruitland to take a second look at this newly adopted law.
I am a small businessman I do not have a lot of capital to just pull out of my pocket on a regular basis this is a direct attack on my business, said Thompson. And it will shut be down.
A major concern for Thompson and his pawn shop is that hackers will break into the Leads Online program.
However Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff assures the program is incredibly secure passing the same security audits issued to the federal government.