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Pawn shop manager accused of buying stolen goods

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

WEST JORDAN – Eight felony counts are filed against a West Jordan Pawn Shop manager who reportedly bought stolen goods, and investigators believe he knew, full well, they had been stolen.

The charges come from a year-long investigation by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.  In all, they searched seven different stores and took in over $1.2 million worth of stolen items.  They were asked to investigate after bog box retailers noticed an uptick in the amount of lost merchandise, and they noticed a lot of it was going to Xtreme Pawn in West Jordan.

Charging documents say John Jones admitted to officers that roughly 80 percent of the items they bought were stolen.  Utah AG’s Office Executive Officer Christopher Walden says it was clear some of the items had just been boosted from retailers.

“There were individuals that would go and complete a pawn transaction at [Xtreme] and the devices would be wrapped in anti-theft devices, in the spider-wire.  The employees would remove it,” Walden says.

Plus, the store had many repeat customers.  One of the shoplifters was quoted as saying they would frequently go to Xtreme because people didn’t ask questions about how they got what was being pawned.

Walden says, “It would [get] 20 cents or 30 cents on the dollar and you’re dong those transaction two or three times a day, three or four times a week.  That’s just not sustainable.”

Every one of the so-called “boosters” had a very specific reason to sell the stolen goods.

“So far, every single one of them used that money for drugs and to fund some sort of addiction,” Walden says.

Jones was charged last week with receiving stolen goods and communications fraud.