Some pawn shop owners say a bad economy may be the reason for a recent rash of thieves trying to sell stolen merchandise, and a local pawn shop is now keeping tighter tabs.
Business is back to normal at Lone Star Pawn, but that wasn't the case when a pair of customers showed up.
"He was on a bicycle and she was walking, and they were carrying a 100-pound saw. It was a concrete saw. You are going to have that in a truck,” said Kimberley McDermott, an employee at Lone Star Pawn in downtown Bryan.
Police say Tuesday the two suspects took the saw from a construction site a few blocks away, and their next stop was the pawn shop.
"To keep things calm we told them at this time we are not taking construction equipment. So they carried it back out and tried to sell it to a gentlemen walking down the street,” said McDermott.
That person outside turned out to be the owner of the saw. Needless to say the owner didn't buy it, and instead he called police.
Cleveland Mack, 47, and Alecia Johnson, 31, were arrested for theft.
The pawn store manager, Bea Martinez, says this incident is a perfect example of why she and other pawn shop managers are becoming tighter on security.
"We just have to be safe and make sure that we don't take any stolen stuff. That's the main thing,” said Martinez.
If they do buy a stolen item, police would confiscate it and the shop would lose the money they originally paid for the merchandise.
"As far as the economy people are bringing in anything. It's kind of getting to a point where everything that comes in we have to check. We have to make sure that it's theirs, and that they have reason to have it. They are bringing in grandma's costume jewelry just to scrap for even a gallon of gas,” McDermott said.
Both suspects have been released on bond.
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