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Don’t Be A Pawn In Her Game

, , , , , | Legal | October 12, 2021

My husband likes to go to pawn shops to buy tools and guns. I usually come along just to browse, and I usually don’t find anything of interest. I have recently gotten into sewing and I happen to spot a higher-end sewing machine in really good shape with all the accessories and manuals on one of our visits. I decide that it is worth the chance for $200, and the pawnshop offers a thirty-day warranty, so I buy it.

When I get home, I ask about it on one of my sewing groups on Facebook. It turns out that the machine retails for $500 new. Most people congratulate me on the purchase and tell me that I got a really good deal. However, one lady decides to accuse me of buying stolen merchandise simply because I bought it at a pawnshop.

Lady: “Why did you buy that machine?! If you got it from a pawnshop, it is probably stolen! Only horrible people shop at pawnshops! How would you feel if someone stole your stuff and sold it at a pawnshop?”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Lady: “Pawnshops are notorious for selling stolen goods! The police will come and arrest you if you tell people how much you paid and that you bought it at a pawn shop!”

Me: “Pawnshops are one of the most regulated types of resale shops in the United States! It is actually a felony for a pawnbroker to buy an item that they even SUSPECT is stolen! When you sell an item, you have to present a government-issued photo ID with your address and personal details AND provide a thumbprint as identification! I even had to show my driver’s license when I bought it because they had to create a buyer profile for me!”

Lady: “But people sell stolen items at pawn shops all the time! I wouldn’t trust a pawnbroker!”

Me: “Do you buy stuff on Facebook Marketplace, yard sales, or flea markets?”

Lady: “Yes, all the time. What is your point?”

Me: “Did you know that there is literally ZERO legal recordkeeping of those transactions? You could have easily bought stolen items and didn’t realize it! Pawnshops keep detailed records of who they buy from AND who they sell to!”

Lady: “BUT. PEOPLE. SELL. STOLEN. GOODS. AT. PAWN. SHOPS! You will be arrested!”

Me: “Yeah, right! If it is stolen, as you allege, the responsibility is on the pawnshop, NOT me! I bought the machine under the impression that it wasn’t stolen! Plus, my husband has been dealing with that pawnshop for close to twenty-five years, so they probably did their due diligence on the original owner.”

Lady: “I am going to report you to the police! Your name is [My Name] and you live in [City], [State]?”

Me: “Yes!”

Lady: “Now you are going to jail for buying stolen property!”

The lady DID call the sheriff’s department where I live, but they literally laughed at her after she accused me of knowingly buying stolen property from a legitimate pawnshop! My husband was born and raised here, and being a small town, all the sheriff’s deputies know my husband. The deputy who talked to her is even the deputy who checks pawnshops for stolen items, and he said that they had no report of that machine being stolen, anyway.

I don’t know how she couldn’t understand that just buying an item from a pawnshop DOES NOT mean that the item has been stolen!