Stolen Property as a Risk for Pawnbrokers

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One of a pawnbroker’s biggest risks is buying and selling an item is that it is actually stolen. There’s no way to determine whether a watch or a television is stolen so pawnbrokers must make a careful record of  purchases, requiring customers to provide identification (and even fingerprints in some cases) to prevent “fencing.”

The pawnshop frequently turns in a list of the merchandise and its serial numbers to police, who check it against reports of stolen goods. The pawnbroker is required to keep all merchandise for a set period of days (typically two or three months) before selling it, not only to give the person who pawned his valuables a good faith chance to purchase them back, but for police to investigate any shady transactions.

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