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Council to consider banning EcoATM machines
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Although automated kiosk machines that buy back personal electronic devices may seem like a quick way to get cash in exchange for old electronics, the Turlock City Council may put a ban on them.

An automated secondhand dealer kiosk machine allows people to sell their old cell phones, MP3 players, tablets, and other similar electronic devices for immediate cash. Since there is no limit to the number of devices or transactions one person can make at a kiosk, the Turlock Police Department fears that such machines will lead to an increase in theft of electronic devices by those looking to make a quick buck.

The only current known version of the ASDK machine is produced and managed by the EcoATM Corporation of San Diego. While the EcoATM machine is equipped with some safety features, such as requiring the consumer to swipe a valid government issued ID and logging serial numbers of each electronic device in a transaction, it does not currently have the technology to verify whether the ID actually belongs to the person completing the transaction or if that individual is the true owner of the device being sold for cash.

The Turlock Police Department also said that there would be legal ramifications in allowing an outside source to scan TPD databases when filtering serial numbers.

According to the City, law enforcement agencies across the country have cited the instant cash feature of the EcoATM machine as a huge draw for thieves.

San Diego police have also reported a rise in cell phone theft since the installation of EcoATMs. Turlock police do not want to fall into the same predicament by allowing the machines within the city.

Since there are no ASDK machines in the City of Turlock currently, the Turlock Police Department hopes to have the City Council approve the ban to avoid an increase in theft.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway.