If an Item I Owned was Stolen and Sold to a Pawn Shop, Do I Have to Pay to Get it Back?


Sarah Rodgers


April 27, 2021

If an item you owned was stolen and showed up in a pawn shop, you do not have to pay to get it back. The item legally still belongs to you. However, unless you can show proof that the item is yours, you'll have a hard time retrieving it. Keep reading to find out what steps you should take to ensure you get your item back. 

If you notice that your valuable item has been stolen, always go to police officials first. If your item shows up in a pawn shop, they will know about it. In fact, every pawn shop is required to list any of the items that were sold to them in a system that goes straight to the police. They are also required to hold the item for a certain number of days before selling, just in case it shows up on police reports as stolen. So trying to search through pawn shops for your item may not be the best option. 

Can I get my stolen item back from a pawn shop?

Yes, you can almost always get your item returned to you if it is found in a pawn shop. However, you will not be able to get it back if you do not have proof of ownership, which is why it is always good to keep receipts and pictures of your valuables. Also, some states may not allow you to get your item back without paying the full price for it. Ask your local police station to know for sure. 

Do pawn shops sell stolen merchandise?

Let's be honest unless we have magical powers and can read people's minds; it's somewhat hard to know if someone is planning to sell you a stolen item. But, in order for pawn shops to resist selling stolen items at all possible costs, they have a system set up with the police. Once an item is brought into a pawn shop, they will take pictures of it, write down any specific details about it, and send it to police officers. Then if someone reports a stolen item, police can look through this system and see if it's located at a pawn shop. If the item turns up stolen, the man that sold the item to the shop can be easily caught and arrested. 

It's easy to identify the man because to sell anything to a pawn shop; they first need a form of ID, record of your background history, and essential information. All of these things get filed with the report. Pawn shops can't say for certain that they don't sell stolen merchandise, but they still do whatever they can not to let that happen. 

What should I do if I notice my stolen item in a pawn shop?

If you are wandering through a pawn shop and notice an item similar to the one you had stolen from you, it's best to keep calm and report it to the proper authorities. Call your local police station as soon as you can and let them know what happened. It's usually best if you take this call outside, you don't want to make anyone in the pawn shop uncomfortable. 

After you get off the phone, you can talk to the pawn shop employees and let them know what has happened. They are usually very understanding with these types of situations. You will also want to tell them that you have already contacted the police and that they are on their way to solve the problem. 

It is crucial that you call the police immediately after you find out your item is missing because if you haven’t reported your item as stolen before you find it in a pawn shop they might see it as suspicious. If police officers know exactly what you are looking for before you find it, it shows proof that your item really was stolen, and it makes it easier to retrieve. 

You will also want to gather up any images, pictures, receipts, or other information that can prove this item is yours. Once the police are involved, it shouldn't be long before your item shows up safe in your hands.

Why do pawn shops need my ID?

A lot of people get frustrated when a pawn shop clerk asks to see their ID. They often ask themselves, "Do they think I'm a criminal?" They don't understand that law is required that every person selling something to a pawn shop shows the clerk their ID and gives them the proper information. It seems like a lot of wasted time, but it's the reason that they can get stolen items back to their owners in a timely manner. You may not be a criminal, but you're not below the law. 

Sportsman's Pawn Shop is the perfect place to go if you are interested in getting a loan or selling a valuable item. If you need any help or would like a quote over the phone, you can call us at (801) 938-3807 or contact us online.


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