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How to Find Out If Something That Was Stolen Is in the Pawn Shop?

Stephen Lilley

If your home is robbed and your personal possessions are taken, one lead that may be worth investigating is checking your local pawn shops. Some of the items may have been taken in by the thieves in exchange for some quick cash. The pawn shop owner should have a record of when the items arrived and who sold them, which can aid in any police investigation.

  1. Compile as much information as you can about the item that was stolen. If your laptop was stolen, for example, write down the model number, the brand, the serial number -- which will be located in the manual, if that wasn't stolen as well -- and the approximate date and time at which the item was stolen.

  2. Find a list of pawn shops in your area. Sites such as PawnShopListings.com and MapMuse.com can help compile a list of all the pawn shops within a certain area. This information will include addresses, telephone numbers and other pieces of contact information for the individual shops.

  3. Begin calling the pawn shops in your area and inquiring about the merchandise. Ask if an item that matches the description of your stolen item has recently been brought in. If it has, ask if the person knows exactly when the item was brought in. They likely know who brought the item in as well, but probably won't give you that information over the phone or in person.

  4. Compare when your item was stolen with when the item showed up in the pawn shop. If your item was stolen four days ago but a nearly identical laptop computer has been in the pawn shop for three months, the unit at the pawn shop is not the item that was stolen from you.

  5. Fill out a police report. Go down to the local police station and fill out a report regarding your stolen item. Include all of the information you compiled about the theft and tell the officer you are speaking with that you believe you have located the item at a local pawn shop. The police will be able to investigate further and determine definitively whether the item in question is yours.