JUSTICE BLACKMUN delivered the opinion of the Court.
This case presents the question whether the warrantless search of an automobile junkyard, conducted pursuant to a statute authorizing such a search, falls within the exception to the warrant requirement for administrative inspections of pervasively regulated industries. The case also presents the question whether an otherwise proper administrative inspection is unconstitutional because the ultimate purpose of the regulatory statute pursuant to which the search is done — the deterrence of criminal behavior — is the same as that of penal laws, with the result that the inspection may disclose violations not only of the regulatory statute but also of the penal statutes.
Respondent Joseph Burger is the owner of a junkyard in Brooklyn, N. Y. His business consists, in part, of the dismantling of automobiles and the selling of their parts. His junkyard is an open lot with no buildings. A high metal fence surrounds it, wherein are located, among other things, vehicles and parts of vehicles. At approximately noon on November 17, 1982, Officer Joseph Vega and four other plainclothes officers, all members of the Auto Crimes Division of the New York City Police Department, entered respondent's
Upon entering the junkyard, the officers asked to see Burger's license
In the Kings County Supreme Court, Burger moved to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of the inspection, primarily on the ground that § 415-a5 was unconstitutional. After a hearing, the court denied the motion. It reasoned that the junkyard business was a "pervasively regulated" industry in which warrantless administrative inspections were appropriate, that the statute was properly limited in "time, place and scope," and that, once the officers had reasonable cause to believe that certain vehicles and parts were stolen, they could arrest Burger and seize the property without a warrant. App. to Pet. for Cert. 18a-19a. When respondent moved for reconsideration in light of a recent decision of the Appellate Division, People v. Pace, 101 App. Div. 2d 336, 475 N.Y.S.2d 443 (1984), aff'd, 65 N.Y.2d 684, 481 N.E.2d 250 (1985),
The New York Court of Appeals, however, reversed. 67 N.Y.2d 338, 493 N.E.2d 926 (1986). In its view, § 415-a5 violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.
Because of the important state interest in administrative schemes designed to regulate the vehicle-dismantling or automobile-junkyard industry,
The Court long has recognized that the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is applicable to commercial premises, as well as to private homes. See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541, 543, 546 (1967). An owner or operator of a business thus has an expectation of privacy in commercial property, which society is prepared to consider to be reasonable, see Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361 (1967) (Harlan, J., concurring). This expectation
The Court first examined the "unique" problem of inspections of "closely regulated" businesses in two enterprises that had "a long tradition of close government supervision." Ibid. In Colonnade Corp. v. United States, 397 U.S. 72 (1970), it considered a warrantless search of a catering business pursuant to several federal revenue statutes authorizing the inspection of the premises of liquor dealers. Although the Court disapproved the search because the statute provided that a sanction be imposed when entry was refused, and because it did not authorize entry without a warrant as an alternative in this situation, it recognized that "the liquor industry [was] long subject to close supervision and inspection." Id., at 77. We returned to this issue in United States v. Biswell, 406 U.S. 311 (1972), which involved a warrantless inspection of the premises of a pawnshop operator, who was federally licensed to sell sporting weapons pursuant to the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U. S. C. § 921 et seq. While noting that "[f]ederal regulation of the interstate traffic in firearms is not as deeply rooted in history as is governmental control of the liquor industry," 406 U. S., at 315, we nonetheless concluded that the warrantless inspections
The "Colonnade-Biswell" doctrine, stating the reduced expectation of privacy by an owner of commercial premises in a "closely regulated" industry, has received renewed emphasis in more recent decisions. In Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., we noted its continued vitality but declined to find that warrantless inspections, made pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 84 Stat. 1598, 29 U. S. C. § 657(a), of all business engaged in interstate commerce fell within the narrow focus of this doctrine. 436 U. S., at 313-314. However, we found warrantless inspections made pursuant to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 91 Stat. 1290, 30 U. S. C. § 801 et seq., proper because they were of a "closely regulated" industry. Donovan v. Dewey, supra.
Indeed, in Donovan v. Dewey, we declined to limit our consideration to the length of time during which the business in question — stone quarries — had been subject to federal regulation. 452 U. S., at 605-606. We pointed out that the doctrine is essentially defined by "the pervasiveness and regularity of the federal regulation" and the effect of such regulation upon an owner's expectation of privacy. See id., at 600, 606. We observed, however, that "the duration of a particular regulatory scheme" would remain an "important factor" in deciding whether a warrantless inspection pursuant to the scheme is permissible. Id., at 606.
Because the owner or operator of commercial premises in a "closely regulated" industry has a reduced expectation of privacy, the warrant and probable-cause requirements, which fulfill the traditional Fourth Amendment standard of reasonableness for a government search, see O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709, 741 (1987) (dissenting opinion), have lessened application in this context. Rather, we conclude that, as in other situations of "special need," see New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325, 353 (1985) (opinion concurring in judgment), where the privacy interests of the owner are weakened and the government interests in regulating particular business are concomitantly heightened, a warrantless inspection of commercial premises may well be reasonable within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.
This warrantless inspection, however, even in the context of a pervasively regulated business, will be deemed to be reasonable only so long as three criteria are met. First, there must be a "substantial" government interest that informs the regulatory scheme pursuant to which the inspection is made. See Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 602 ("substantial federal interest in improving the health and safety conditions in the Nation's underground and surface mines"); United States v. Biswell, 406 U. S., at 315 (regulation of firearms is "of central importance to federal efforts to prevent violent crime and to assist the States in regulating the firearms traffic within their borders"); Colonnade Corp. v. United States, 397 U. S., at 75 (federal interest "in protecting the revenue against various types of fraud").
Second, the warrantless inspections must be "necessary to further [the] regulatory scheme." Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 600. For example, in Dewey we recognized that forcing mine inspectors to obtain a warrant before every inspection
Finally, "the statute's inspection program, in terms of the certainty and regularity of its application, [must] provid[e] a constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant." Ibid. In other words, the regulatory statute must perform the two basic functions of a warrant: it must advise the owner of the commercial premises that the search is being made pursuant to the law and has a properly defined scope, and it must limit the discretion of the inspecting officers. See Marshall v. Barlow's, Inc., 436 U. S., at 323; see also id., at 332 (STEVENS, J., dissenting). To perform this first function, the statute must be "sufficiently comprehensive and defined that the owner of commercial property cannot help but be aware that his property will be subject to periodic inspections undertaken for specific purposes." Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 600. In addition, in defining how a statute limits the discretion of the inspectors, we have observed that it must be "carefully limited in time, place, and scope." United States v. Biswell, 406 U. S., at 315.
Searches made pursuant to § 415-a5, in our view, clearly fall within this established exception to the warrant requirement for administrative inspections in "closely regulated" businesses.
In determining whether vehicle dismantlers constitute a "closely regulated" industry, the "duration of [this] particular regulatory scheme," Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 606, has some relevancy. Section 415-a could be said to be of fairly recent vintage, see 1973 N. Y. Laws, ch. 225, § 1 (McKinney), and the inspection provision of § 415-a5 was added only in 1979, see 1979 N. Y. Laws, ch. 691, § 2 (McKinney). But because the automobile is a relatively new phenomenon in our society and because its widespread use is even newer, automobile junkyards and vehicle dismantlers have not been in existence very long and thus do not have an ancient history of government oversight. Indeed, the industry
The automobile-junkyard business, however, is simply a new branch of an industry that has existed, and has been closely regulated, for many years. The automobile junkyard is closely akin to the secondhand shop or the general junkyard. Both share the purpose of recycling salvageable articles and components of items no longer usable in their original form. As such, vehicle dismantlers represent a modern, specialized version of a traditional activity.
See also N. Y. C. Charter and Admin. Code § B32-113.01 (1977) (" `Junk dealer'. Any person engaged in the business of purchasing or selling junk"); § B32-126.0a (" `dealer in second-hand articles' shall mean any person who, in any way or as a principal broker or agent: 1. [d]eals in the purchase or sale of second-hand articles of whatever nature").
Accordingly, in light of the regulatory framework governing his business and the history of regulation of related industries, an operator of a junkyard engaging in vehicle dismantling has a reduced expectation of privacy in this "closely regulated" business.
The New York regulatory scheme satisfies the three criteria necessary to make reasonable warrantless inspections pursuant to § 415-a5. First, the State has a substantial interest in regulating the vehicle-dismantling and automobile-junkyard industry because motor vehicle theft has increased in the State and because the problem of theft is associated with this industry. In this day, automobile theft has become a significant social problem, placing enormous economic and personal burdens upon the citizens of different States. For example, when approving the 1979 amendment to § 415-a5, which added the provision for inspections of records and inventory of junkyards, the Governor of the State explained:
See also 25 Legislative Newsletter, New York State Automobile Assn., p. 1 (May 10, 1978), reprinted in Governor's Bill Jacket, L. 1979, ch. 691 (1979 Bill Jacket) ("Auto theft in New York State has become a low-risk, high-profit, multi-million
Second, regulation of the vehicle-dismantling industry reasonably serves the State's substantial interest in eradicating automobile theft. It is well established that the theft problem can be addressed effectively by controlling the receiver of, or market in, stolen property. 2 W. LaFave & A. Scott, Substantive Criminal Law § 8.10(a), p. 422 (1986) ("Without [professional receivers of stolen property], theft ceases to be profitable"); 2 Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice 789 (Kadish ed. 1983) ("[The criminal receiver] . . . inspires 95 per cent or more of the theft in America"). Automobile junkyards and vehicle dismantlers provide the major market for stolen vehicles and vehicle parts. See Memorandum from Paul Goldman, Counsel, State Consumer Protection Board, to Richard A. Brown, Counsel to the Governor (June 29, 1979), 1979 Bill Jacket ("It is believed that a major source of stolen vehicles, parts and registration documentation may involve vehicles which pass through the hands of [junk vehicle] dealers"). Thus, the State rationally may believe that it will reduce car theft by regulations that prevent automobile junkyards from becoming markets for stolen vehicles and that help trace the origin and destination of vehicle parts.
See also Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 603. Similarly, in the present case, a warrant requirement would interfere with the statute's purpose of deterring automobile theft accomplished by identifying vehicles and parts as stolen and shutting down the market in such items. Because stolen cars and parts often pass quickly through an automobile junkyard, "frequent" and "unannounced" inspections are necessary in order to detect them. In sum, surprise is crucial if the regulatory scheme aimed at remedying this major social problem is to function at all.
Finally, the "time, place, and scope" of the inspection is limited, United States v. Biswell, 406 U. S., at 315, to place appropriate restraints upon the discretion of the inspecting officers. See Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 605. The officers are allowed to conduct an inspection only "during [the] regular and usual business hours." § 415-a5.
A search conducted pursuant to § 415-a5, therefore, clearly falls within the well-established exception to the warrant requirement for administrative inspections of "closely regulated" businesses. The Court of Appeals, nevertheless, struck down the statute as violative of the Fourth Amendment because, in its view, the statute had no truly administrative purpose but was "designed simply to give the police an expedient means of enforcing penal sanctions for possession of stolen property." 67 N. Y. 2d, at 344, 493 N. E. 2d, at 929. The court rested its conclusion that the administrative goal of the statute was pretextual and that § 415-a5 really "authorize[d] searches undertaken solely to uncover evidence of criminality" particularly on the fact that, even if an operator failed to produce his police book, the inspecting officers could continue their inspection for stolen vehicles and parts. Id., at 344, 345, 493 N. E. 2d, at 929, 930. The court also suggested that the identity of the inspectors — police officers — was significant in revealing the true nature of the statutory scheme. Id., at 344, 493 N. E. 2d, at 929.
In arriving at this conclusion, the Court of Appeals failed to recognize that a State can address a major social problem both by way of an administrative scheme and through penal sanctions. Administrative statutes and penal laws may have the same ultimate purpose of remedying the social problem, but they have different subsidiary purposes and prescribe different methods of addressing the problem. An administrative statute establishes how a particular business in a
In United States v. Biswell, we recognized this fact that both administrative and penal schemes can serve the same purposes by observing that the ultimate purposes of the Gun Control Act were "to prevent violent crime and to assist the States in regulating the firearms traffic within their borders." 406 U. S., at 315. It is beyond dispute that certain state penal laws had these same purposes. Yet the regulatory goals of the Gun Control Act were narrower: the Act ensured that "weapons [were] distributed through regular channels and in a traceable manner and [made] possible the prevention of sales to undesirable customers and the detection of the origin of particular firearms." Id., at 315-316. The provisions of the Act, including those authorizing the warrantless inspections, served these immediate goals and also contributed to achieving the same ultimate purposes that the penal laws were intended to achieve.
This case, too, reveals that an administrative scheme may have the same ultimate purpose as penal laws, even if its regulatory goals are narrower. As we have explained above, New York, like many States, faces a serious social problem in automobile theft and has a substantial interest in regulating the vehicle-dismantling industry because of this problem. The New York penal laws address automobile theft by punishing it or the possession of stolen property, including possession by individuals in the business of buying and selling property. See n. 6, supra.
Accordingly, to state that § 415-a5 is "really" designed to gather evidence to enable convictions under the penal laws is to ignore the plain administrative purposes of § 415-a, in general, and § 415-a5, in particular.
If the administrative goals of § 415-a5 are recognized, the difficulty the Court of Appeals perceives in allowing inspecting officers to examine vehicles and vehicle parts even in the absence of records evaporates. The regulatory purposes of § 415-a5 certainly are served by having the inspecting officers
Nor do we think that this administrative scheme is unconstitutional simply because, in the course of enforcing it, an inspecting officer may discover evidence of crimes, besides violations of the scheme itself. In United States v. Biswell, the pawnshop operator was charged not only with a violation of the recordkeeping provision, pursuant to which the inspection was made, but also with other violations detected during the inspection, see 406 U. S., at 313, n. 2, and convicted of a failure to pay an occupational tax for dealing in specific firearms, id., at 312-313. The discovery of evidence of crimes in the course of an otherwise proper administrative inspection does not render that search illegal or the administrative scheme suspect. Cf. United States v. Villamonte-Marquez, 462 U.S. 579, 583-584, and n. 3 (1983).
Accordingly, the judgment of the New York Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded to that court for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
JUSTICE BRENNAN, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL joins, and with whom JUSTICE O'CONNOR joins as to all but Part III, dissenting.
Warrantless inspections of pervasively regulated businesses are valid if necessary to further an urgent state interest, and if authorized by a statute that carefully limits their time, place, and scope. I have no objection to this general rule. Today, however, the Court finds pervasive regulation in the barest of administrative schemes. Burger's vehicle-dismantling business is not closely regulated (unless most New York City businesses are), and an administrative warrant therefore was required to search it. The Court also perceives careful guidance and control of police discretion in a statute that is patently insufficient to eliminate the need for a warrant. Finally, the Court characterizes as administrative a search for evidence of only criminal wrongdoing. As a result, the Court renders virtually meaningless the general rule that a warrant is required for administrative searches of commercial property.
In See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541, 543 (1967), we held that an administrative search of commercial property generally
Initially, the Court excepted from the administrative-warrant requirement only industries which possessed a " `long tradition of government regulation,' " Donovan v. Dewey, supra, at 605, quoting Marshall v. Dewey, 493 F.Supp. 963, 964 (1980), or which involved an "inherent and immediate danger to health or life." Note, 48 Ind. L. J. 117, 120-121 (1972).
The provisions governing vehicle dismantling in New York simply are not extensive. A vehicle dismantler must register and pay a fee, display the registration in various circumstances, maintain a police book, and allow inspections. See N. Y. Veh. & Traf. Law §§ 415-al-6 (McKinney 1986). Of course, the inspections themselves cannot be cited as proof of pervasive regulation justifying elimination of the warrant requirement; that would be obvious bootstrapping. Nor can registration and recordkeeping requirements be characterized as close regulation. New York City, like many States and municipalities, imposes similar, and often more stringent licensing, recordkeeping, and other regulatory requirements on a myriad of trades and businesses.
In sum, if New York City's administrative scheme renders the vehicle-dismantling business closely regulated, few businesses will escape such a finding. Under these circumstances, the warrant requirement is the exception not the rule, and See has been constructively overruled.
Even if vehicle dismantling were a closely regulated industry, I would nonetheless conclude that this search violated the Fourth Amendment. The warrant requirement protects
The statute does not inform the operator of a vehicle-dismantling business that inspections will be made on a regular basis; in fact, there is no assurance that any inspections at all will occur.
The Court also maintains that this statute effectively limits the scope of the search. We have previously found significant that "the standards with which a [business] operator is required to comply are all specifically set forth," 452 U. S., at 604, reasoning that a clear and complete definition of potential administrative violations constitutes an implied limitation on the scope of any inspection. Plainly, a statute authorizing a search which can uncover no administrative violations is not sufficiently limited in scope to avoid the warrant requirement. This statute fails to tailor the scope of administrative inspection to the particular concerns posed by the regulated business. I conclude that "the frequency and purpose of the inspections [are left] to the unchecked discretion of Government officers." Ibid. The conduct of the police in this case underscores this point. The police removed identification numbers from a walker and a wheelchair, neither of which fell within the statutory scope of a permissible administrative search.
The Court also finds significant that an operator is on notice as to who is authorized to search the premises; I do not find the statutory limitation — to "any police officer" or "agent of the commissioner" — significant. The sole limitation I see on a police search of the premises of a vehicle dismantler is that it must occur during business hours; otherwise it is open season. The unguided discretion afforded police in this scheme precludes its substitution for a warrant.
The fundamental defect in § 415-a5 is that it authorizes searches intended solely to uncover evidence of criminal acts. The New York Court of Appeals correctly found that § 415-a5 authorized a search of Burger's business "solely to discover whether defendant was storing stolen property on his premises." 67 N. Y. 2d, at 345, 493 N. E. 2d, at 930. In the law of administrative searches, one principle emerges with unusual clarity and unanimous acceptance: the government may not use an administrative inspection scheme to search for criminal violations. See Michigan v. Clifford, 464 U.S. 287, 292 (1984) (opinion of POWELL, J.) (in fire investigation, the constitutionality of a postfire inspection depends upon "whether the object of the search is to determine the cause of the fire or to gather evidence of criminal activity"); Michigan v. Tyler, 436 U.S. 499, 508 (1978) (" `if the authorities are seeking evidence to be used in a criminal prosecution, the usual standard of probable cause will apply' ") (citations omitted); Donovan v. Dewey, supra, at 598, n. 6 ("[Warrant and probable-cause requirements] pertain when commercial property is searched for contraband or evidence of crime"); Almeida-Sanchez v. United States, 413 U.S. 266, 278 (1973) (POWELL, J., concurring) (traditional probable cause not required in border automobile searches because they are "undertaken primarily for administrative rather than prosecutorial purposes"); Camera v. Municipal Court, supra, at 539 (authorization of administrative searches on less than probable cause will not "endange[r] time-honored doctrines applicable to criminal investigations"); See v. City of Seattle, 387 U. S., at 549 (Clark, J., dissenting) ("[N]othing . . . suggests that the inspection was . . . designed as a basis for a criminal prosecution"); Abel v. United States, 362 U.S. 217, 226 (1960) ("The deliberate use by the Government of an administrative warrant for the purpose of gathering evidence in
Here the State has used an administrative scheme as a pretext to search without probable cause for evidence of criminal violations. It thus circumvented the requirements of the Fourth Amendment by altering the label placed on the search. This crucial point is most clearly illustrated by the fact that the police copied the serial numbers from a wheelchair and a handicapped person's walker that were found on the premises, and determined that these items had been stolen. Obviously, these objects are not vehicles or parts of vehicles, and were in no way relevant to the State's enforcement of its administrative scheme. The scope of the search alone reveals that it was undertaken solely to uncover evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Moreover, it is factually impossible that the search was intended to discover wrongdoing subject to administrative
The State contends that acceptance of this argument would allow a vehicle dismantler to thwart its administrative scheme simply by failing to register and keep records. This is false.
The Court properly recognizes that "a State can address a major social problem both by way of an administrative scheme and through penal sanctions." Ante, at 712. Administrative
The Court thus implicitly holds that if an administrative scheme has certain goals and if the search serves those goals, it may be upheld even if no concrete administrative consequences could follow from a particular search. This is a dangerous suggestion, for the goals of administrative schemes often overlap with the goals of the criminal law. Thus, on the Court's reasoning, administrative inspections would evade the requirements of the Fourth Amendment so long as they served an abstract administrative goal, such as the prevention of automobile theft. A legislature cannot abrogate constitutional protections simply by saying that the purpose of an administrative search scheme is to prevent a certain type of crime. If the Fourth Amendment is to retain meaning in the commercial context, it must be applied to searches for evidence of criminal acts even if those searches would also serve an administrative purpose, unless that administrative purpose takes the concrete form of seeking an administrative violation.
The implications of the Court's opinion, if realized, will virtually eliminate Fourth Amendment protection of commercial entities in the context of administrative searches. No State may require, as a condition of doing business, a blanket submission to warrantless searches for any purpose. I respectfully dissent.
"Records and identification. (a) Any records required by this section shall apply only to vehicles or parts of vehicles for which a certificate of title has been issued by the commissioner [of the Department of Motor Vehicles] or which would be eligible to have such a certificate of title issued. Every person required to be registered pursuant to this section shall maintain a record of all motor vehicles, trailers, and major component parts thereof, coming into his possession together with a record of the disposition of any such motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof and shall maintain proof of ownership for any motor vehicle, trailer or major component part thereof while in his possession. Such records shall be maintained in a manner and form prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner may, by regulation, exempt vehicles or major component parts of vehicles from all or a portion of the record keeping requirements based upon the age of the vehicle if he deems that such record keeping requirements would serve no substantial value. Upon request of an agent of the commissioner or of any police officer and during his regular and usual business hours, a vehicle dismantler shall produce such records and permit said agent or police officer to examine them and any vehicles or parts of vehicles which are subject to the record keeping requirements of this section and which are on the premises. . . . The failure to produce such records or to permit such inspection on the part of any person required to be registered pursuant to this section as required by this paragraph shall be a class A misdemeanor."
"Definition and registration of vehicle dismantlers. A vehicle dismantler is any person who is engaged in the business of acquiring motor vehicles or trailers for the purpose of dismantling the same for parts or reselling such vehicles as scrap. No person shall engage in the business of or operate as a vehicle dismantler unless there shall have been issued to him a registration in accordance with the provisions of this section. A violation of this subdivision shall be a class E felony." N. Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 415-a1 (McKinney 1986).
"A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree when he knowingly possesses stolen property, with intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof or to impede the recovery by an owner thereof, and when:
"1. The value of the property exceeds two hundred fifty dollars; or
"3. He is a pawnbroker or is in the business of buying, selling or otherwise dealing in property . . . .
"Criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree is a class E felony." N. Y. Penal Law § 165.45 (McKinney 1975).
Burger also was charged with three counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree pursuant to the following provision of a New York statute:
"A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree when he knowingly possesses stolen property, with intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof or to impede the recovery by an owner thereof.
"Criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor." N. Y. Penal Law § 165.40 (McKinney 1975).
"Subdivision 5 of section 415-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the statute under which the police officers said they were acting, has no application. While this section requires dismantlers to keep a police book, the book was missing when the officers entered and it would thus have been impossible for the officers to exercise the alleged implied authority to compare the book entries to the contents of the yard." Id., at 339, n. 1, 475 N. Y. S. 2d, at 445, n. 1.
Respondent construed this footnote to mean that police officers had to obtain a search warrant if a vehicle dismantler did not produce a police book and thus they could not conduct a warrantless inspection in the absence of this book. See 125 Misc.2d 709, 711, 479 N.Y.S.2d 936, 938 (Sup. 1984).
"The commissioner [of the Police Department] shall possess powers of general supervision and inspection over all licensed and unlicensed pawnbrokers, vendors, junkshop keepers, junk boatmen, cartmen, dealers in second-hand merchandise and auctioneers within the city; and in connection with the performance of any police duties he shall have power to examine such persons, their clerks and employees and their books, business premises, and any articles of merchandise in their possession. A refusal or neglect to comply in any respect with the provisions of this section on the part of any pawnbroker, vendor, junkshop keeper, junk boatman, cartman, dealer in second-hand merchandise or auctioneer, or any clerk or employee of any thereof shall be triable by a judge of the criminal court and punishable by not more than thirty days' imprisonment, or by a fine of not more than fifty dollars, or both."
Courts have upheld such statutes against federal constitutional attack. See, e. g., Bionic Auto Parts & Sales, Inc. v. Fahner, 721 F.2d 1072, 1081 (CA7 1983); People v. Easley, 90 Cal.App.3d 440, 445, 153 Cal.Rptr. 396, 399, cert. denied, 444 U.S. 899 (1979); Moore v. State, 442 So.2d 215, 216 (Fla. 1983); People v. Barnes, 146 Mich.App. 37, 42, 379 N.W.2d 464, 466 (1985); State v. Zinmeister, 27 Ohio App.3d 313, 318, 501 N.E.2d 59, 65 (1985); see also State v. Tindell, 272 Ind. 479, 483, 399 N.E.2d 746, 748 (1980); Shirley v. Commonwealth, 218 Va. 49, 57-58, 235 S.E.2d 432, 436-437 (1977). But see People v. Krull, 107 Ill.2d 107, 116-117, 481 N.E.2d 703, 707-708 (1985), rev'd, 480 U.S. 340 (1987); State v. Galio, 92 N.M. 266, 268-269, 587 P.2d 44, 46-47 (1978).
"no registration shall be issued or renewed unless the applicant has a permanent place of business at which the activity requiring registration is performed which conforms to section one hundred thirty-six of the general municipal law as such section applies and to all local laws or ordinances and the applicant and all persons having a financial interest in the business have been determined by the commissioner to be fit persons to engage in such business."
Amici argue that § 415-a does not create a truly administrative scheme, because its provisions are not sufficiently voluminous. See Brief for American Civil Liberties Union et al. as Amici Curiae 34-36. Although the number of regulations certainly is a factor in the determination whether a particular business is "closely regulated," the sheer quantity of pages of statutory material is not dispositive of this question. Rather, the proper focus is on whether the "regulatory presence is sufficiently comprehensive and defined that the owner of commercial property cannot help but be aware that his property will be subject to periodic inspections undertaken for specific purposes." Donovan v. Dewey, 452 U. S., at 600. Section 415-a plainly satisfies this criterion.
"Webster says junk is old metal, rags, and rubbish. The word `junk' can also be used as a verb, and as such would mean to discard. I represent an industry that buys vehicles which are no longer suitable for transportation. These vehicles have been wrecked, damaged, or have otherwise become inoperative. They are taken apart by members of our industry. The components that are still usable are made available to garages, body shops, and the general public as used parts for repair of other vehicles. The portion of the vehicle that is not suitable for parts is passed on to a scrap processor who then transforms the hulk, or the remnants, into a product suitable for resmelting purposes." Junkyards & Solid Waste Disposal in the Highway Environment, Proceedings of National Seminar, June 10-11, 1975, p. 19 (1976) (statement of Donald J. Rouse, National Association of Auto and Truck Recyclers, now known as Automotive Dismantlers and Recyclers of America).
"(2) essential to the criminal enterprise of motor vehicle theft operations is the ability of thieves to transfer or sell stolen vehicles or their parts through legitimate commercial channels making them available for sale to the automotive industry; and (3) motor vehicle dealers, used parts dealers, scrap processors, automotive parts recyclers, and rebuilders are engaged in a type of business which often exposes them and their operations to pressures and influences from motor vehicle thieves; and (4) elements of organized crime are constantly attempting to take control of businesses engaged in the sale and repair of motor vehicles so as to further their own criminal interests." Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 95 1/2, ¶ 5-100-1 (1985).
See also Kan. Stat. Ann. § 8-2402 (1982); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 482.318 (1985).
"A person is guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree when he steals property and when:
"8. The value of the property exceeds one hundred dollars and the property consists of a motor vehicle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-five of the vehicle and traffic law, other than a motorcycle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-three of such law." 1986 N. Y. Laws, ch. 515, § 1 (McKinney), codified at N. Y. Penal Law § 155.30 (McKinney Supp. 1987).
New York State has equally comprehensive licensing and permit requirements. See N. Y. Exec. Law § 875 (McKinney Supp. 1987):
"More than thirty-five state agencies issue rules and permits affecting businesses, organizations and individuals. Permits number in the hundreds in statute with still more in rules and regulations. Those who are regulated move in a maze of rules, permits, licenses, and approvals."