Pawnshop Busted for Selling Nearly a Million Dollars Worth of Stolen Goods on eBay
Police busted a Tennessee pawnshop owner for allegedly selling millions of dollars of stolen merchandise, including on eBay.
- Do you need a business bank account for your online business? Have a look at our review of the five best bank accounts for sellers, some of which are free with no minimum balance or deposits.
- AI can change your entire social media game today. Learn how you can save time writing engaging content faster. [sponsored]
- How to lower your taxable income and pay less in taxes. [sponsored]
- ‘My Community Made’ is a new marketplace to compete with Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
- EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Chris Prill, VP eBay Motors, discussing the new Guaranteed Fit program.
The 10-month investigation led the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to carry out search warrants at four Music City Pawn locations, seizing about 1,500 to 2,000 items that appeared to be stolen.
“Whenever these businesses take in products that compromise stolen, primarily by shoplifters and boosters, they find an outlet such as Music City Pawn where they can turn around and sell it,” said Metro Police Lt. Michael Warren with the Property Crimes Division said.
“Most pawnshops will scrutinize something that comes into their store that’s brand new and boxed. We found out through our investigations over 10 months that Music City Pawn does not do that kind of diligence when it comes to the product walking into their stores.”
The MNDP investigation into Music City Pawn began with a tip from a local Home Depot store that found a lot of their products being sold online.
Police said their investigation led them to work with at least seven retailers including Home Depot, Kroger, Publix, Lowes, Walgreens, CVS and Target.
Pawnshop Operated eBay Store
“We know a lot of this is moved through their eBay store and to the tune of well over six figures, nearly touching seven figures so it’s a very substantial crime. It’s not a small crime,” Warren said.
“It’s a conduit for thieves to be able to upload stolen stuff for whatever they need it for. Whether they’re purchasing drugs, trying to find whatever fix they needed.”
While investigators said that some stolen items were sold at 15 to 20 cents on the dollar in the stores, it’s not clear if Music City Pawn’s eBay listings showed equally discounted prices.
eBay prohibits the sale of stolen property on its marketplace.
“Stolen property from private individuals or property taken without authorization from companies or government cannot be listed for sale,” the company’s ‘Stolen Property Policy‘ says.
eBay also states in its policy that the company works “with law enforcement in any attempts to sell stolen property on eBay.”
But how much eBay can do to prevent the sale of stolen products is unclear.
While there have been many complaints through the years, the reality is that unless eBay gets a tip from law enforcement, there is little it can do.
Even stolen art has been sold on eBay, and it was only a fortunate coincidence that it came to light and was returned to the rightful owner.
This will continue to plague the marketplace, and buyers need to take a critical look at ‘too good to be true’ listings.
Connect with us: Head over to our Facebook Group for Small Business Sellers and interact with other small business owners.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to stay up to date with relevant news and business insights for your online business.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Business Insights for Your Online Business Presented with a Dash of Humor
We do not share your information and you can unsubscribe anytime.
Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.