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Residents Question Possible Ossining Pawn Shop

OSSINING, N.Y. – Village of Ossining residents are urging officials to reconsider possibly allowing a pawn shop and pawnbrokers to do business in town.

The Village of Ossining Board of Trustees heard from concerned residents Tuesday night during a continued public hearing on the consideration of a new local law to allow licensing to pawnbrokers. The board has yet to weigh in on the possibility but Lori Lee Dickson, the board’s corporation council, said during the meeting that planning and legal departments have been developing the necessary applications.

Village resident Frank Schnecker said the law could create an increase of illegal behavior. Schnecker is a member of the Ossining School Board, but said he was only representing his own views Tuesday.

“I would urge the board to use all means necessary to oppose this pawn shop,” Schnecker said. “There are several studies that show a significant amount of inventory at a pawn shop deals in stolen merchandise. I believe this will create a conduit for that in this community.”

Schnecker said he believed a pawn shop would create further concerns for the village’s police.

“I think at the end of the day what you’re going to find is you’re never going to be able to regulate a business like this,” Schnecker said. “You’re never going to be able to account for stolen merchandise.”

Resident Victoria Gearity told the board during the public hearing that she had many hesitations about a pawn shop being introduced in Ossining.

“My natural inclination when any business wants to come into the village of Ossining is ‘how can we help you?’ welcome. In this case I feel a little bit more hesitant,” Gearity said. “But there may not be much that can be done to stop a business from coming in.”

Ossining Village Police Captain Scott Craven said the police department also had some concerns with the shop.

“I think it’s fair to say from the perspective of the police department that any high profile predominantly cash business is a concern of ours,” Craven said. “We have concerns about where it might be placed. It is a cause for concern. Our responsibility is to safeguard the community and we’d like to be able to do that effectively.”

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