Roseburg, Ore., considers secondhand store rules

Not all owners fine with proposed pre-sale waiting period

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ROSEBURG, Ore. — The city of Roseburg is considering whether to regulate how thrift stores acquire and sell goods as a way to deter property crimes.

Police say secondhand store owners could record whom they buy goods from and wait at least seven days before reselling the merchandise.

A proposal was originally scheduled to go to the City Council on Monday, but City Manager Lance Colley said staff members wanted more time to review it, the News-Review reported Sunday.

Some thrift store owners say they don't mind noting who sells them property, but they don't want to sit on items, potentially losing sales.

Junk Junkies owner Gene Garino said he can't afford to store items for a week.

"It's like, 'No! OK?' I run a secondhand store, and I sell secondhand stuff," said Garino, who doesn't like the proposal. "I do not have a place to store stuff. When I buy it, it goes out on my floor the same day, and it sells fast."

Roseburg police Lt. Patrick Moore says detailed records of thrift store transactions could help police recover stolen property.

"If everyone just checks ID, if everyone just keeps a record of what they buy, it helps reduce the crime rate," Moore said.

Under a draft ordinance that would have been presented to the council Monday, secondhand stores would be required to get the seller's name, birthdate, address and signature.

The proposal also would mandate a seven-day hold on most merchandise, though the most recent version grants an exception if buyers leave their names and other personal information, including birthdate.

Joe Coffey, owner of Hillbilly Heaven Resale on Southeast Stephens Street, said he didn't like an earlier version of the proposal that would have required stores to keep items they just bought in a separate room during the seven-day waiting period.

But he said he has appreciated changes made to the proposal and now thinks the ordinance sounds good.

"So far, everything in there, I'm more or less OK with," Coffey told the News-Review.

Coffey said he already documents his purchases. He photocopies identification and requires sellers to sign a statement swearing they own what they are selling.