Pawn shop owner hopes recent bust doesn't give others a bad rap

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- According to regional supervisor of Money Man Pawn, Mike Bond, the pawn business is heavily regulated by consumer affairs.

The supervisor of 12 Money Man Pawn stores said the bust of Mr. Flap's Pawn in Goose Creek came as a surprise.

Bond said if a pawn shop owner accepts stolen merchandise, eventually they will get caught.

"It's going to catch up with you," he said.

Bond said police should be the first to know whether stolen goods have come into a pawn shop -- if the store is operating under state law.

"If you bring the property in here, you might as well bring it to the police department's door step," Bond said.

Bond said there is daily interaction with local law enforcement. Whether it is a loan or a purchase from an individual, they must log into a system and e-mail those records to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. From there, the records are loaded into the National Crime Investigation Center, (NCIC) a national database.

"There are occasions where items may very well come in that are reported stolen and have been taken to one of our locations," Bond said. "If that's the case, we're contacted by local law enforcement and they come in -- usually have victim come down and visually ID the property."

Bond said law enforcement officers conduct audits periodically as well.

"They check paperwork, verifications on models, and serial numbers on all merchandise that comes in here."

Bond also said if they suspect an item brought in was stolen, that the pawn shop will contact law enforcement.

As for, Mr. Flap's alleged shoplifting operation, Bond said he hopes it does not give other pawn shops a bad rap.

"It's unfortunate for businesses that follow the law to be grouped in with other businesses that may not."

Bond said pawn shops are also required by law to check photo identification when someone wants to pawn an item.