Unfortunately, pawn shops sometimes get the unfair reputation of being havens for criminals looking to make money off of stolen goods. However, most pawn shops actually have high standards and strict methods we use to ensure that we never buy or sell stolen merchandise. Here in Olathe, KS, pawn shops are held to tight laws restricting the sale of stolen goods, which means we always take every possible precaution when buying and selling our merchandise.
There are a lot of steps taken by most pawn shops in Olathe, KS that the average shopper probably doesn’t know anything about, so we thought we’d shed some light on the process. Here are some common methods pawn shops use to protect themselves and their consumers from dealing in stolen merchandise.
- Police records: Most pawn shops have strong relationships with their local police departments. Pawn shop employees will often scan police records so they can be aware of any stolen goods in the area, and police will even alert local pawn shops if they suspect a thief will try to sell their stolen property to them. And when a pawn shop employee recognizes a suspect, they will take down their required identification information to help the police catch the criminal.
- Suspicious behavior: Pawn shops tend to sell a lot of specialized items like jewelry, musical instruments and collectibles. If the person attempting to sell us those items fails to provide information about how they came to own said items, this will often come across as a red flag to an employee. Other examples of suspicious behavior include getting nervous or rude when asked questions about the item, trying to hasten the transaction or being reluctant to show legally required identification. Of course, none of these things provide concrete evidence that the item was stolen, but they may prompt the pawn shop employee to look into the situation more closely, or just refuse to buy the goods.
- Missing serial numbers: If it appears the serial number has been forcibly removed from the item, that is an obvious indication that something is not right with the transaction. Most pawn shop employees will refuse to buy items with missing serial numbers, and some might even get the police involved.
- Holding items: Many pawn shops have a strict rule about any new merchandise: they hold it for a certain amount of time, usually a week to 10 days, before putting it out to be sold. This gives them time to run the serial numbers through a check, and it also gives the police time to check around for the item if it is indeed stolen. Though these practices might delay profit or annoy consumers, it is a small price to pay to avoid selling stolen goods.
At the end of the day, no pawn shop owner or employee wants to be responsible for the trafficking of stolen goods. If something seems off about a potential seller or item, we’ll do everything we can to understand the situation, and if we can’t, we usually won’t buy the merchandise. That way, our honest shoppers never have to worry that they’re purchasing stolen goods.