How Do Police Catch Thieves At Pawn Shops – ANSWERED!

Brian McCracken


This is one of those questions that both most people who are completely honest and have never taken anything in their life will want to know about as well as somebody that may not have the best intentions.
I’m aware that some people may use the information in this answer for potentially dishonest means.
That having been said, I don’t think there is any great risk in them knowing just how easy it is for them to get caught with stolen merchandise in a pawn shop should they happen to bring it in.
The fact of the matter is that the more the bad guys know about how quickly they will be arrested if they should think it’s a good idea to take something stolen into their local pawn shop, the less likely it is that they would even attempt it to begin with.
This is great not just for pawn shops, but also for average people who are concerned that there are items might end up in a pawn shop one day through dishonest means.
If a thief thinks that it is a good idea to take stolen merchandise into a pawn shop, they are sadly mistaken. Police very easily catch thieves in pawn shops without any real work or effort being involved. Pawn shops work very closely with police departments to help prevent stolen merchandise from coming in and getting it back to it’s rightfully owner when it does.
How Do Police Departments Work With Pawnshops To Catch Thieves
Most of the time pawn shops will have very good relationships with their local police departments or other law enforcement officials. You can almost bet on the fact that they communicate with each other on a regular basis.
Whether that is because of state-mandated daily reporting to police departments that most pawn shops must do or simply because they equally want to keep stolen merchandise out of pawn shops, these are two entities that get along very well.
As you have just been informed, most pawn shops are required to report to their local law enforcement officials on a daily basis on the items that they take in either through loans, or that they have bought outright.
This gives the police departments a daily log of items that they can look for should they recognize them from a theft or stolen property report.
Additionally, police departments will normally call into or stop by their local pawn shops just to touch base on any new developments in the area.
You have to understand that pawn shops will often act as a sort of community hub for the people in the surrounding areas.
As such, if there are any rumors or other local neighborhood news going around, a pawn shop may be a good place for a Police Department to find out about these things. That being the case, most smart police departments tend to check in and say hi just to talk to the pawn brokers in their areas.
Typically speaking, someone from the Police Department will go down to the local pawnshop and further inspect the item. This normally means taking pictures of it as well as running any serial number that may be attached to it.
If this information, whether it is the description or the serial number of the item, matches that of an item that has been found to be a part of a theft or other crime, then the police department will typically notify the victim. The victim will then come in and positively identify the item as belonging to them.
Once this has occurred in the Police Department will normally get the pawn or buy record from the pawn shop. This will include the information of the individual that sold that item, or made a loan on it. The police department will then use this information to either issue a warrant or charge him or her with the crime.
Normally speaking pawnshops collect enough information to make this a very easy process for police departments to do.
Do Pawn Shops Have To Work With Their Police Departments
You might be asking yourself if the pawn shop would be giving the police department all of this information because they have to or not.
The fact of the matter is that a pawn shop must comply with their local law enforcement officials when attempting to determine if an item has been stolen.
This is an extremely lawful process and is common across the nation. If there is a possibility that something is involved in a crime, the pawn shop will want to assist law enforcement in any way possible.
Pawn Shops Help Catch Thieves
Yet keep in mind that this is an interest of the pawn shop to keep known thieves out of their stores.
Pawn shops do not want stolen merchandise in their businesses. They do not want to be a part of a crime ring, or theft ring as they are commonly known, which is counter to what a lot of people think that pawn shops do.
There is a popular opinion that pawn shops work with bad guys or are part of some kind of big cover up operation, but the truth of the matter is that pawn shops and pawn brokers would much rather not have any stolen merchandise in their stores what so ever if possible.
Of course, just because of the nature of their business (buying goods from the public) there will occasionally be some stolen merchandise that ends up in their stores, but they definitely try to minimize that as much as possible.
Therefore they are always willing to help local law enforcement. There are some laws governing how this is done but at the end of the day a pawn broker is not attempting to hide theft by any means. If something is stolen then they will want the item returned to its rightful owner.