DC Councilman wants to shut down businesses that sell stolen cel - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC Councilman wants to shut down businesses that sell stolen cell phones

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Metro and DC's Police Chief have declared war on rapidly escalating case cell phone robberies. Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells, Chairman of the Council's Public Safety Committee, says he's going to introduce emergency legislation on Tuesday that would give the mayor the power to shut down any business that sells stolen phones. The way he sees it, those stores are supporting crime against the city's residents.

A week ago during a crime briefing with police, Wells Tweeted that two DC GameStop stores were found to have hundreds of used cells phones..."All likely stolen." A spokeswoman for GameStop told Fox 5, the chain was totally unaware of any such thing. Wells isn't pointing fingers at specific stores now. "It's not just one store. It's a number of stores," he said. But Wells wants to give the mayor the authority to yank the business licenses of stores selling stolen merchandise, in the same way Police Chief Cathy Lanier has the power to shut down nightclubs after questionable or violent activity.

Critics are quick to point out that Wells is seriously considering a run for mayor and say his emergency bill is a gimmick that would not set fines or give out warnings and has no appeals process.

A spokesman for Vincent Gray says the mayor supports the intent of the Wells legislation. Wells says he wants to work with Gray's office to come up with permanent legislation.

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