Stolen Property Ring
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - A recent stolen property ring involving tools brought questions about how goods are stolen and pawned in the Tri-Cities.
Business owners said tools are a hot commodity on the black market. The Western Tool Supply Company keeps track of the serial numbers on each tool they sell through an internal computer program.
Ace Jewelry and Loan owner Randy Harris said there are a lot of security measures that pawn shops must comply with and said there are a variety of people that come into the store. He said, "You never know what you might see and there are lot of interesting people who you will meet and lots of interesting items."
Harris said that guns, gold and guitars are the most common items sold.
Harris said there are security measures in place to prevent criminals from trying to two stolen property. Each customer must provide picture identification. Harris said, "We're required to provide police reports on a daily basis showing the items that the pawnshop sold, the model number, and serial number and any description."
Harris said he has compiled a list of 13,000 customers in his store computer and makes notes about any crimes reported in the newspaper.
He said, "Anyone that's a car prowler, burglary or thief, we eliminate from our system and they disqualified from doing business here."
The Western Tool Supply shop in Kennewick also has a special security system. They track the serial numbers of anything they sell through the company's computer system.
The store manager said stolen tools are all too common. He said, "Our serial numbers have tracked criminals."
If a criminal got through security measures at a pawnshop and police retrieve the stolen property the pawn shop owner lose the money.