Here’s one of those questions that I almost hate to see, but it’s worth answering because a lot of people really are under this impression.
Pawn shops are typically not full of stolen stuff.
That is one of those rumors that still lives to this day despite the truth about how pawn shops currently operate.
While 40 or 50 years ago it may have been true that there were a good amount of stolen items found in pawn shops, these days bad guys just don’t go there to sell their ill-gotten goods.
You see, pawn shops today are required to take things like ID’s and sometimes even fingerprints whenever they do a transaction with someone.
Well, bad guys, they just don’t want to give up that kind of information because it easily identifies who they are.
They know that when the cops find the items in pawn shops, they are going to go back and see who brought them in and charge them with the crime.
Anyone who steals things and knows how to sell them just don’t want to sell them to places that they can easily be identified. Particularly when there are other options open to them like craigslist, eBay, or offerup.
The Truth About Pawn Shops And Stolen Stuff
I get it, a lot of people think that pawn shops operate just to buy things from bad guys who are out there breaking into houses and cars.
It’s incredibly wrong…
Typically speaking, far less that 1% of all transactions that pawn shops do involve anything stolen at all. Most of the items that pawn shops buy are things that people just have no use for anymore and don’t want.
For instance, let’s say that you are your spouse get divorced. Do you want to wake up everyday, get ready for work and look down on your dresser to see that ring that you wore when you loved and cherished that person who may have hurt you badly?
Probably not, but what do you do with it? Well, a lot of people sell those ring, but to where? Pawn shops are certainly one of the places that items like that end up in. Those items aren’t stolen, they just aren’t of use for the people selling them anymore.
Some of the items in pawn shops are items that were used to get a loan and then for whatever reason, life got in the way and those people couldn’t afford to repay the loan. So the pawn shop had no choice but to forfeit the loan and try to sell the items and get their money back.
But those items aren’t stolen. The original owners had intended to come back and get them at a later point in time and that’s nothing that a crook does. A crook doesn’t want to get the item back. They want to be rid of it, collect their cash and do whatever it was that they were going to do.
So Can You Buy Stuff At Pawn Shops Without Fearing That The Items Are Stolen
Very little of what comes into a pawn shop is stolen. Further more, because of the reporting standards between police departments and the pawn shops, anything that is stolen is normally very quickly caught by police departments and never make it to the point where a pawn shop might be selling it.
It’s just not a realistic fear to worry about buy something stolen from pawn shops, so don’t worry about it. If it’s at the pawn shop and is for sale, chances are that it’s just something that you’re going to get a great deal on.