Do Pawn Shops Report Serial Numbers – SOLVED!

Brian McCracken


Pawn shops will often report serial numbers to police departments.
So there you are, in the pawn shop while the pawnbroker is examining your item, writing down things like the model number and the serial number.
But what do they do with that information? Where does all of that go anyways?
More specifically, do pawn shops report the serial numbers of the items that they take in on a regular basis and if so, who do they report that to?
It’s actually a good question and I’m glad that someone asked me about this because it will explain a little more about how pawn shop operate and what it is that they do on a regular basis.
First of all, I will say upfront that more often than not, pawn shops do report the model and serial numbers of the items that they take in to the local police departments.
This is done through what is commonly a state-mandated reporting process and it’s most frequently done on a daily basis.
The states have written this requirement into their laws in a honest attempt to try to discourage thieves from illegally using pawn shops to sell their stolen or ill-gotten merchandise.
Pawn shops report serial numbers to their local law enforcement agencies to help keep bad guys out of their stores and track down possibly stolen merchandise. Most criminals know this and don’t take stolen merchandise into pawn shops anymore, but occassionally you will have someone do something particularly stupid like this man did.
How Do Pawn Shops Feel About These Laws
Typically speaking, every pawn broker that I speak to welcomes these laws and is glad that they are in place.
They do what they are intended to do – which is discourage the bad guys from trying to fence their stolen goods at pawn shops.
Additionally, it provides a mechanism for a good degree of transparency between local law enforcement officials and the pawn shops in their areas.
The police departments will always know what items are coming into the pawn shop and will be able to use that information to try to track down stolen items and get them back to their owners one way or another.
Additionally, it’s common for people to walk into a pawn shop and accuse them of being “Nothing more than a fence” for criminals but by having this process in place it allows the pawnbroker to demonstrate that actually, it would be nearly impossible for a pawn shop to do that.
Pawn shops don’t want stolen merchandise in their stores. It’s a pain to deal with and on top of it, that’s just no way to run a business.
If anything, pawnbrokers do just about everything in their power to make sure that the bad guys know that if they try to use their pawn shops to sell something stolen that they will get caught!
Pawn shops typically have good relationships with their local police departments (when possible) and will work hand-in-hand with them to get the message out there – don’t take something that’s not yours!
I know in the pawn shops I’ve been in, we constantly talk to the police and sheriff departments in our area, finding out what’s missing, what’s not, what to look for, etc.
The Bottom Line
Let’s just be honest, if you are looking up the answer to this question then that kind of tells me that you are going to fall into one of two groups of people.
The first group is someone that may have had something recently stolen from you. If that’s the case, I’m very sorry – I know if can feel like a violation of your home or person when something is taken from you by a thief.
You can have some peace of mind knowing that if your item(s) were to end up in a pawn shop they would probably be quickly tracked down, along with whomever sold them.
Unfortunately however, a lot of criminals know this about pawn shops and therefore find other ways to sell their stolen goods. Sometimes, if it’s for money for drugs, they will trade them directly with the drug dealer or they will turn and sell them on sites like eBay or Amazon, making them very difficult to track down.
The second group of people that might be interested in this post are the bad guys themselves. If you are reading this to figure out if you can sell something stolen at a pawn shop, I am more than happy to tell you that it’s a bad idea because you will probably be caught.
But that having been said, I hope you do get caught, so go to your local pawn shop and see what you can get. Be sure to act really shady and draw a lot of attention to yourself so we can get whatever you took back to it’s rightful owner.