The development of an online database to record the daily purchases of the state's pawnshops and metal dealers took a major step forward Friday as Gov. Jerry Brown signed a funding bill.

The database will aid law enforcement during investigations of property and metal theft, said Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, author of Assembly Bill 391.

"Criminals and victims should know that the time for turning property crimes into easy profits is coming to an end," Pan said at a news conference Tuesday.

Pan said it's not clear when the database, to be implemented by the Department of Justice, will become active.

The idea for a database appeared in a state Senate bill introduced roughly 12 years ago, Pan said, but there was no funding to implement it.

Now, pawnshop owners and recycled metal dealers have agreed to pay a yearly fee of $300 as part of their licensing certification to fund the online database, Pan said.

For more, see: Online database to help California law enforcement track metal thefts