Wilson Pawn Shops Eyed For Stolen Goods
Posted August 11, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
WILSON — For thousands of people across our state, pawn shops are an affordable alternative to retail stores, But they can also be a target for thieves who are looking to unload stolen merchandise.
Wilson police say the owner of one business, Charles Jinkins, has been buying and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen property. Investigators say his pawn shop became a drop off for local thieves.
"A lot of the people that we arrested told us that they had been taking the property that they stole to CJ's pawn shop," said Wilson Police Detective William Biddle. "They also told us that most of the time, he wouldn't fill out paperwork, and was just doing things that weren't on the up and up."
It's up to the shop owner to keep up with identification numbers so police can trace anything that might have been stolen.
A few blocks away from C & J's, Phillip Jordan says his store, Pioneer Music and Pawn, has never had a problem, because his employees diligently keep records.
"We certainly provide the police department with a detailed description of everything we take in," said Jordan. "That would be model numbers, serial numbers, colors, sizes."
Police say you can protect your property the same way by creating your own records.
"Write down the serial number and the model number for all their property, their valuable property, and if they have jewelry, photograph it," said Biddle.
It's easy for suspects to sell stolen items, but with a little prevention, you could make your valuables a little harder to peddle.
Investigators say 90 percent of burglary victims don't write down serial numbers of their valuables.
If they did, police say, most people would eventually get their property back.