Monday, April 6, 2009

Did You Know . . . Stolen Goods Pawned Can Be Recovered

If you’ve been the victim of a theft and suspect your property may have been pawned, don’t give up hope of ever getting it back.

CCSO wants you to know there are steps you can take.

Sgt. Rebecca Gonzalez of the General Crimes Bureau said providing detailed descriptions, including serial numbers and unique identifiers, helps deputies in the recovery of your property.

As long as you provided adequate descriptions of your stolen goods, it is now a possibility that deputies may locate them because pawnshops and secondhand dealers are required by Florida law to report all transactions to local law enforcement.

If deputies are able to locate your stolen property at a pawnshop or dealer, they can place a hold on the item(s). This prevents movement of the pawned item until a resolution is met. Unfortunately, deputies can’t automatically retrieve your property from the pawnshop since the business is a victim as well – the criminal was required to sign a statement that the property is not stolen during the sales transaction. The shop is now out of money that was paid to the thief.

Deputies will advise you of your options, but victims of theft usually go through either of these two routes:

1) Petition the court for the return of your property at no additional cost to you. However, this is tricky because you must be able to prove it is yours through receipts and/or photographs.

2) Pay the price to the pawn shop of what was paid during the sale and request restitution from the criminal. This option is considered a civil matter and CCSO does not get involved.