Sec. 16-3. Procedure for recovery of stolen property by true owner; refusal of dealer to deliver stolen property to true owner.

Whenever it shall appear by the oath of the person claiming to be the owner thereof that certain of his property has been sold by another without any authority to any person conducting the business of a pawnbroker, junk or secondhand dealer, and the person claiming to be the owner of such property, files a complaint in a court of competent jurisdiction against the person so pawning or selling the same, charging such person with the crime of which he is alleged to be guilty, it shall be the duty of the chief of police to make an investigation concerning the ownership of the property described in the complaint and to determine that no collusion exists between the claimant and the persons who pawned or sold the same. Upon his finding that the person who makes the claim to the property described in the complaint is the lawful owner of such property and entitled to its possession, he shall notify the person conducting the business of a pawnbroker, junk or secondhand dealer of his findings and it shall be the duty of such person to return to the owner thereof, without charge or expense of any kind, any property received from a person not authorized to sell the same, and a failure to do so will be sufficient grounds upon which to cancel the license and revoke the permit to do business of the person; provided, however, that before any license shall be cancelled for the failure to return property claimed by a third person, written charges shall be preferred against the holder of the license, and the matter shall be heard and determined by the city council, at which hearing all parties interested therein may appear and present testimony in support of their respective contentions. (Ord. No. 337, § 2.)