Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-28
Preliminary Investigations involving Pawnbrokers
Issue Date:29 June 2016Effective Date:29 June 2016
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive:
  • A.establishes the Department's policy for preliminary investigations that involve Pawnbrokers.
  • B.provides relevant sections of the Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC) as it relates to electronic reporting requirements, electronic reporting waivers and LeadsOnline access.
  • C.provides relevant sections of Illinois State Statutes as it relates to the returning of stolen property to the owner and placing Pawnbroker Hold/Release Orders on property "believed to be misappropriated goods."
  • D.describes the duties and responsibilities of Department sworn personnel regarding pawnbrokers.
  • E.introduces the use Pawnbroker Hold/Release Order formset (CPD-11.813).
  • F.informs Department members that second hand dealers are not considered pawnbrokers (including cash for gold type business).
II.General Information
  • A.It is the responsibility of the Chicago Police Department to inspect pawnshops to ensure current licensing with City ordinances, compliance with State laws, and to determine if any criminal incidents related to goods in their possession have occurred.
  • B.Department members receiving a call or an on-view incident at a pawnshop will follow the procedures as outlined in existing directives, including but not limited to:
  • C.Second hand dealers are not considered pawnbrokers (including cash for gold type business). Second hand dealers are regulated under MCC 4-260.
  • D.Detectives will follow existing Bureau of Detectives (BOD) procedures, including BOD Special Order 15-40 "Pawnshop Investigation Responsibilities and Procedures."
    For detectives investigating a pawnbroker incident, any conflict between this directive and BOD Special Order 15-40 will be resolved in favor of the BOD Special Order.
III.City Ordinance and State Statutes
  • A.Municipal Code of Chicago (MCC), Chapter 4-240 provides:
    • 1.Effective 16 October 2012, pawn brokers are required to report their purchases electronically each day via LeadsOnline, a third-party web site. Color photographs are required to be uploaded for watches and jewelry.
    • 2.The MCC allows for waivers from the LeadsOnline reporting requirement. Waivers may be granted only by the Superintendent of Police (MCC 4-240-070).
    • 3.According to MCC 4-240-020, "No person shall engage in the business of a pawnbroker within the city without a license. No junk peddler, junk facility or secondhand dealer shall, during the period for which he shall have been licensed or permitted as such, receive or hold any license to engage in the business of a pawnbroker."
  • B.205 ILCS 510/12 Pawnbroker Regulation Act provides:
    • 1.(a) For the purposes of this Section, "hold order" means a written legal instrument issued to a pawnbroker by a law enforcement officer commissioned by the law enforcement agency of the municipality or county that licenses and regulates the pawnbroker, ordering the pawnbroker to retain physical possession of pledged goods in the possession of the pawnbroker or property purchased by and in the possession of the pawnbroker and not to return, sell, or otherwise dispose of such property as such property is believed to be misappropriated goods.
    • 2.(b) Upon written notice from a law enforcement officer indicating that property in the possession of a pawnbroker and subject to a hold order is needed for the purpose of furthering a criminal investigation and prosecution, the pawnbroker shall release the property subject to the hold order to the custody of the law enforcement officer for such purpose and the officer shall provide a written acknowledgment that the property has been released to the officer. The release of the property to the custody of the law enforcement officer shall not be considered a waiver or release of the pawnbroker's property rights or interest in the property. Upon completion of the criminal investigation, the property shall be returned to the pawnbroker who consented to its release; except that, if the law enforcement officer has not completed the criminal investigation within 120 days after its release, the officer shall immediately return the property to the pawnbroker or obtain and furnish to the pawnbroker a warrant for the continued custody of the property.
    • 3.The pawnbroker shall not release or dispose of the property except pursuant to a court order or the expiration of the holding period of the hold order, including all extensions.
    • 4.In cases where criminal charges have been filed and the property may be needed as evidence, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the pawnbroker in writing. The notice shall contain the case number, the style of the case, and a description of the property. The pawnbroker shall hold such property until receiving notice of the disposition of the case from the prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney shall notify the pawnbroker and claimant in writing within 15 days after the disposition of the case.
IV.Procedure for property involving pawnbrokers
  • A.Goods in the possession of a pawnbroker, either as a pledge or purchase by the pawnbroker, are highly regulated through the Illinois Pawnbroker Regulation Act, 205 ILCS 510/, and members must follow specific procedures.
  • B.If a member believes the property is misappropriated goods, the member will:
    • 1.generate a case report or supplementary report using the original Records Division number, as appropriate.
    • 2.fill out the "Hold Order" section of the of the Chicago Pawnbrokers Hold/Release Form (CPD-11.813).
    • 3.ensure a representative of the pawnbroker signs the Hold Order section, and provide the representative with the pawnbroker copy of the Chicago Pawnbroker Hold/Release Form (CPD-11.813).
    • 4.notify the appropriate Bureau of Detectives Area Property Crimes Section and record this notification in the appropriate case report.
    • 5.inventory the Department copy of the Chicago Pawnbroker Hold/Release Form (CPD-11.813) using existing procedures.
    • aware that the hold will expire after 120-days and the hold can only be renewed by obtaining a warrant and serving the pawnbroker.
      If criminal charges have been filed and the property is needed as evidence, then the prosecuting assistant states attorney will need to renew the hold. This is typically accomplished by obtaining a warrant or through another court process.
  • C.Advise a complainant seeking the return of property that:
    • 1.Department members cannot seize and turnover property to the owner without proceeding with the judical process or absent a court order. Only detectives may seize and inventory property in the possession of a pawnbroker.
    • 2.if the victim/owner does not desire to go through the court process, he or she can negotiate with the pawnbroker on an individual basis for the return of the property.
    • 3.Bureau of Detectives personnel will be responsible for the follow-up investigation and the inventory or return of property.
V.Inspection of Pawnbrokers and Pawnbroker Records
It is unlawful for pawnbrokers attempt or actually limit inspections of records:
  • A.State law and City ordinance allows a sworn peace officer from a municipal police department or Sheriff's department to inspect pawndealers' license and goods and their transaction records. Pawnbrokers who attempt to limit inspections or place any other requirements as obstacles are in violation of State law and City ordinances and enforcement action may be taken (MCC 4-240-170 & 205 ILCS 510/6).
  • B.Municipal Code of Chicago also provides that the Mayor or any investigator of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection may inspect a pawnbroker (MCC 4-420-090).
  • C.Bureau of Detectives personnel can access LeadsOnline, the internet database of property transacted at a pawnshop. Pawnshop personnel not granted a wavier by the Superintendent under MCC 4-240-090 must report transactions.
Authenticated by: KC
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
14-105 KMS/MWK