We can thank movies and television for perpetuating the myth that pawn shops are full of stolen goods. When a fictional thief steals something, he heads to a shady pawn shop to unload it. But the truth is, less than one percent of pawn shop merchandise is stolen, and if it’s there, it’s not intentionally. In fact, receiving stolen merchandise is a crime from which a pawn shop owner can be prosecuted. More than that, pawn shops have reputations to uphold; they don’t want to be viewed as accessories to crime and got out of their way to avoid perpetuating a stereotype.
First off, there is a lot of paperwork that goes along with pawning, including identifying information and, where applicable, serial numbers. Customers are asked questions about the merchandise that help the pawn shop owners determine if it’s truly theirs. Pawn shops in Vienna, VA also work with local law enforcement to prevent pawning of stolen items, find stolen items, or, to determine if they’ve inadvertently taken one in. Manifests of received items are regularly inventoried, and police review these. If stolen items are seized, the pawnbroker loses any investment in the piece.
Obviously, taking in stolen items is not in the best interests of Vienna Jewelry on Maple Avenue or any pawn shop in Northern Virginia. Pawn shops have worked hard to overcome the negative image perpetuated by Hollywood, and you can trust the clean, friendly environment they’ve created.