City Pawn Shop Rule At Issue

The city’s definition of a pawn shop will be officially discussed after Mike Pierson, owner of The Treasure Chest on Jefferson Avenue, announced to Moundsville City Council on Tuesday he has been cited by the city for not keeping pawn slips in his shop.

According to Pierson, he must report to Marshall County Magistrate Court on Thursday for a hearing on the matter, but argued he had not had a chance to discuss the definition of a pawn shop under Article 731 with council members before he was cited for the violation.

”They want pawn slips, but I don’t do pawns,” Pierson said. ”It’s not clear (in the citation) and I still haven’t gotten a straight answer on what I’m supposed to do. I don’t practice the pawn status.”

Pierson previously contended to council his store’s classification as a pawn shop was hurting his business by requiring him to hold any purchased goods for 10 days before reselling them. Pierson argued since his shop does not lend money on deposit, he should not fall under the definition of a pawn shop. However, the city ordinance requires anyone purchasing personal property and reselling it to be classified as such.

City attorney Thomas White advised Pierson to ask the court to continue the case until Pierson can meet with the city’s policy committee on the matter.

”If the shop has been declared to be a pawn shop and it doesn’t have pawn slips than that will technically be a violation,” White said. ”We have no control over magistrate.”

Moundsville Police Chief Tom Mitchell previously stated, under the ordinance, Pierson is required to fill out pawn cards to be submitted to the city for any valuable items sold to the store such as jewelry or television sets and to delay selling the purchased items for 10 days. Mitchell said purchase documentation and a 10-day waiting period will help police track any stolen goods that might be sold to the shop noting there have been a few reports of stolen items being sold to the store. Following Pierson’s first request for information from council last month, Moundsville police were called to his shop for a report of stolen property.

Moundsville City Council plans to discuss the pawn shop ordinance at a policy meeting at 5 p.m. Nov. 12 in the city building at 800 Sixth St.