Councilors want to crack down on irresponsible sober homes, pawn shops
The City Council voted today to consider measures that would regulate so-called sober homes for recovering drug addicts and require pawn shops and other businesses that sell second-hand goods to tie into a Boston Police database of stolen property.
Councilors Tito Jackson (Roxbury) and Frank Baker (Dorchester) said that while there are many good sober homes in the city, they are worried that without any city supervision, their districts in particular are starting to see a rise of improperly run facilities - "wolves in sheep's clothing," Jackson called them - that do nothing to help their residents and lead to drug use and crime in their surrounding neighborhoods.
Separately, councilors John Connolly (at large) and Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton) are proposing that pawn shops be required to enter goods coming into their shops in a database maintained by police. Connolly said the measure would make it easier for police to track stolen goods showing up at pawn shops and similar stores - and that along with that, police would begin levying fines of up to $300 for stores found selling stolen stuff. Connolly said police are already piloting the database with two pawn shops.
Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston) praised both proposals. He said his district probably has the highest concentration of pawn shops in the city and said he hoped the proposal would help curb break-ins by drug addicts who try to fence what they steal at some of those shops.
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