Legislation introduced this week by state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, would help deter the theft and quick resale of stolen electronic devices – a problem being fueled by the ongoing opioid addiction epidemic.
House Bill 403 would require pawn shops and other secondhand dealers that purchase electronics to retain the seller’s name and address and report that information, together with the devices’ serial numbers, to the district attorney’s office so the devices could tracked and recovered.
“The opioid addiction crisis claims a lot of innocent victims, and homeowners are among them,” Bizzarro said. “Every day, addicts burglarize homes for electronics, which they then resell for quick cash to feed their addiction. My bill would help to deter these thefts while also working to make the crime victims whole.”
Bizzarro added that the dealer reporting requirement has worked for other stolen property.
“We know this kind of reporting works because after Pennsylvania enacted similar requirements for precious metal dealers, jewelry thefts decreased,” Bizzarro said. “There’s every reason to believe the same would work for electronics.”
The bill would exempt nonprofit donation centers.