Pawn 101: Stupid pawnbroker tricks

According to the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press, a local pawnbroker was caught accepting stolen goods.

In a sting operation, police used an ringer to present items in “plastic security boxes.”

Maui retailers don’t seem to have adopted these, but they are the jewelry store equivalent of those plastic security tags that clothing stores attach to clothes to discourage shoplifters.

The Virginia pawnbroker was buying items in security boxes that had not been unlocked. That’s not in itself illegal, but it ought to have made him suspicious.

During the 2012 investigation, Newport News Police Detective W.E. Nesbitt indicated in the criminal complaint that he learned Pellecchia takes suspected stolen items brought in through the pawn shop to his home to sell on eBay.

The suspect wasn’t actually charged with receiving stolen property but with failure to keep pawn records. He maintains his innocence.

As we often say at Kamaaina Loan blog, a pawn shop is a stupid place to fence stolen goods, because you have to leave your name, address, picture and thumbprint. By the same token, if you’re going to accept stolen goods, setting up a pawn


shop is a stupid way to do it, because most cities or states (including both Hawaii and Virginia) require pawnbrokers to keep complete records of what they buy or accept as collateral, and, in Hawaii, police can inspect the records without notice.

Mr. Pellecchia may not have know that, because the newspaper reported his business experience was in selling pizza.