Do Pawn Shops Report To Police Departments – ANSWERED!

Brian McCracken


So what is it that pawn shops do with their local police departments? Do they work with them closely and do they have to report to them regularly on items that are brought in?
Well it’s a good question and unfortunately there is no one universal answer that covers all possibilities.
That having been said, yes, most pawn shops do report to their local law enforcement agencies on the items that are brought into their stores on a regular basis.
In fact, in most states that reporting process is something that is regulated and mandated by state or even city laws as to how often the pawn shop(s) must report to the police and how those reports should look, including what information must be on those reports.
Of course, it’s not 100% the same in every state and every city but as a general truth – pawn shops do report and that really shouldn’t be a concern for 99.99% of pawn customers.
Of course, if a bad guy is doing something that he or she shouldn’t be doing, then it’s understandable for them to be concerned about this reporting process but pawn brokers don’t want to do business with bad guys anyways.
If anything, every pawn shop I’ve ever been to or pawn broker I’ve ever spoken with wants to do everything in their power to keep bad guys and/or stolen items out of their stores. They just have no interest in participating in that kind of potentially illegal activity if they can avoid it.
I know that for some of you that might sound odd. After all, a lot of people out there think that pawn shops are where bad guys go to sell stolen items but the truth of the matter is that’s just not the case.
Bad guys will often avoid pawn shops these days because they know that pawn shops have to report to police departments on a daily basis.
Pawn Shops & Bad Guys
I hear it all the time. “My ring was stolen and I bet it ended up in some pawn shop.”
Well, I understand why people might say or think that but unfortunately that’s just not the case in today’s pawn shops and with modern pawn brokers.
You see, just like the reporting process is mandated by State or local laws, the information that pawn shops must record and keep is also mandated by similar laws.
That often means that pawn shops need to get a scanned picture of a photo ID, record an accurate address, phone number and in some cases even a social security number on anyone that comes in and sell something to their pawn shop.
Bad guys don’t want anything to do with that. They know that once that stolen item gets found out that they will be on the hook for receiving stolen property at the very least and more than likely the entire theft overall.
That’s really the purpose behind pawn shops getting and storing all of that information and it’s also the reason that they report to their local law enforcement agencies. It’s all to stop stolen merchandise from coming in and deterring the bad guys out there before they even start.
The Professionals
Pawn brokers are true professionals. They understand how the system works and they are happy to help those in need of a short term loan to help make ends meet.
That having been said, some criminals are true professionals as well. They will find other anonymous ways to sell stolen merchandise and will avoid taking it to a pawn shop at any cost most of the time.
That’s not to say that stolen items don’t occasionally end up in a pawn shop, but it’s very rare – much more rare than most people think really.
A professional will find a real fencing operation to buy the goods, or they will take them to shady buy-and-sell shops that may not be required to take the customer’s ID and information like a pawn shop is.
Failing that, professional criminals have other avenues to sell stolen merchandise such as eBay, Craigslist and even Amazon.
Because of that, these guys don’t need to use pawn shops to buy their stolen items any more – particularly since they know that basically every pawn shop has to report to the police on a daily basis on the items that they take in to their stores and who sold it to them.