Police: Pawn Shops Victims of Stolen Goods as Holidays Approach

WILMINGTON -- College Road Jewelry Pawn, OPM Pawn Shop and Pawn USA are all pawn shops that have had to turn over stolen goods to the Wilmington Police Department.

Officer Craig Melville says crime is up with the holidays drawing closer.

"During the holidays, all sorts of crimes are up. People are breaking into places, pawning stuff so they can get legitimate gifts for their loved ones," says Officer Melville.

Pawn shop manager Troy Hancock says hot items thieves try to pawn include cameras, jewelry and DVD's. He says it can be hard to tell if an item is stolen.

"It does make us a victim. It's kind of upsetting at times, but unfortunately, it's part of the game. We have to do what we have to do, and it happens. We move right along and get it out and help the police in any way we can," says Hancock.

He says they're already taking one step the police department wants all pawn shops to follow. Hancock says his employees don't handwrite their receipts. They enter all the information into an online database, which goes right to the Wilmington Police Department.

Officer Melville says they are pushing for a city ordinance that would require all pawn shops to do the same. That way detectives don't have to make weekly trips to pawn shops to look for stolen property.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer