Pawn Shops in Massachusetts, and elsewhere, are regulated by local, state and federal laws pertaining to loans, purchases and privacy issues. Victims of theft often go to a pawn shop and see if their merchandise is on display there, but it’s really not that simple. Here’s a description of the pawning process and what you should do if your merchandise is stolen.
First, understand that Pawnbrokers and other second hand dealers are generally required to report all transactions they make to local police or authorities. In addition to pawn shops, jewelers and consignment shops that buy gold and silver jewelry and other items are all required to maintain records of transactions and report them to local authorities on a regular basis. This often includes providing pictures and descriptions of all the items they take in, along with a copy of the ID and photos of the person who brought the item in. The pawn shop must then hold the item for a specific period of time, usually a minimum of 30 days, to allow the police time to investigate if the merchandise was part of a crime.
Recently, New England law enforcement agencies have centralized this information through NESPIN, New England State Police Information Network, where all six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) share the information of what has been brought into pawn shops and second hand dealers across the region. This allows local law enforcement the opportunity to search the database to determine if items brought in were the result of a crime. This database is not available to the public, but is accessible to local law enforcement.
If you are a victim of theft, here’s what you should do
Empire Loan wants to help you recover your merchandise. Hopefully the above information will help you figure out how to do just that. If you have any questions or need any further information, feel free to contact any of Empire Loan’s 8 locations, check our website (www.EmpireLoan.com) or call us at 800-375-PAWN
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