Pawn Shops Help Stop Robbers

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Pam Fronek came home from her Memorial Day trip to find her house broken into.

“A bunch of jewelry, some cash that we had tucked away was missing, and I just wanted to throw up immediately,” Fronek said.

The suspect made off with $60,000 worth of cash and jewelry. Even now, more than a month later she still doesn’t feel safe.

“Just having someone in my home and not knowing why or who, it’s just an awful feeling.”

The suspect responsible for burglarizing her home was caught at a pawn shop in Washington, trying to pawn her jewelry. Rogue Valley Pawn and Jewelry uses a universal system called leads online.

“Whether we buy something or it’s pawned, it goes to the system at the end of the night,” employee Chris Oddo explained. “Everything we do goes to that system and then at the end of the day that system goes to the local authorities.”

If an item comes up stolen police are notified. They then go to the pawn shop and investigate the stolen item. Pawn shop employees say sometimes the system doesn’t work fast enough though.

“The biggest problem is not finding out until two or three days later that the guns are stolen or they don’t get around to filing a police report so by the time we’ve already done the transaction, the gun comes up stolen then they come and confiscate it,” Oddo added.

As a result, pawn shops lose money, but people like Pam still go in in hopes they will find some of their stolen jewelry that slid by the system

“I’ve been in pawn shops three or four different times just hoping that rings and earrings will be there,” Froneck said.

Investigators did recover some of Pam’s stolen jewelry. The pawn shop we talked with said they have at least 10 people coming in every day looking for stolen items.