SB 0662 Allows Sheriff to seize misappropriated property held by a pawnbroker; revises felony theft limit to $500
LR Number:2894L.08C Fiscal Note:2894-08
Committee:Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:05/17/02 - H Calendar S Bills for Third Reading w/HCS Journal page:
Title:HCS SCS SBs 662 & 704
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Available Summaries | Senate Home Page | List of 2002 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

HCS/SCS/SBs 662 & 704 - This act provides that itinerant vendors and peddlers shall provide upon request by law enforcement officials proof of purchase of any unused property, and forging a receipt shall be prosecuted pursuant to Section 570.090, RSMo. "New and unused property" is defined as tangible personal property that has never been used since its production or manufacture and is in its original unopened package. The act also adds altering a receipt, price tag or price code with the intent to cheat and defraud a retailer to the list of stealing crimes, and provides for a reasonable service charge on returned checks.

This act lowers the felony stealing limit from $750 to $500, and raises the felony limit for numerous other crimes involving theft from $150 to $500. The other criminal statutes affected are: making a false statement to receive health care payment; sale of any species of wildlife; tampering with computer data; tampering with computer equipment; tampering with computer users; determination of value; receiving stolen property; alternation or removal of item numbers with intent to deprive rightful owner; passing bad checks; fraudulently stopping payment on an instrument; fraudulent use of a credit device; library theft; theft of cable television service; failure to return rented personal property; unlawful receipt of food stamps or ATP cards; unlawful conversion of food stamps or ATP cards; unlawful transfer of food stamps or ATP cards; and perjury, committed when obtaining public assistance.

This act authorizes pawnshops to report certain information about pawnshop transactions to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Pawnshop owners may accomplish the necessary reporting by electronically transmitting the required information to a database. Any reporting pawnshop is required to submit transaction information to the database within one business day of the transaction. Such reporting pawnshop must make paper copies of transactions available to law enforcement, upon request. The act authorizes the creation of a database by a third party engaged in the business of operating databases. Law enforcement may then access the database in their investigation of alleged property crimes. Any person who fraudulently accesses the database shall be guilty of a Class C felony.

This act provides that a pawnbroker shall require from those selling property proof of identification. If a seller or pledger fails to provide proof of identification, the pawnbroker shall hold the property for thirty days and can then transfer the property, provided the seller submitted a signed statement attesting he or she is the legal owner and when and from whom the property was acquired.

A claimant whose property was misappropriated may demand return of the property and must provide written demand for its return, a copy of the police stolen property report containing a particularized description or applicable serial number and an affidavit wherein claimant asserts legal ownership, describes the property, agrees to cooperate with law enforcement in any prosecution relating to the theft and states the property was taken without claimant's consent. If such demand is made, the pawnbroker shall return the property to claimant, in the presence of a police officer, within seven days. However, if the pawnbroker has reason to believe any of the statements in the affidavit are false, the pawnbroker need not return the property and claimant may seek relief in court. The non-prevailing party shall be responsible for court costs and the prevailing party's attorney fees. Conversely, if the pawnbroker returns the property but later discovers information contained in the affidavit was false, or that claimant did not assist police in the prosecution of the theft, the pawnbroker may file suit for the value of the property and the non-prevailing party shall be responsible for court costs and the prevailing party's attorney fees.