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Pawn Shop Database Helps Company Recover Stolen Property


UPDATED: Tuesday October 16, 2012 5:51 PM

After a local company had more than $20,000 in equipment stolen from them, police said the thieves sold two of the items to a pawn shop.

The shop then entered the serial numbers into a database and that helped find all of the stolen property.

Inside Luigi's Pawn shop on North High Street are the two items Richard Labrut thought he's never see again.

“And it is kind of shocking because a lot of the equipment is kind of job specific so we do need it for certain things. I really thought we had lost it and it was gone,” said Labrut.

But Labrut, a Crew Supervisor at ProTouch, walked out the pawn shop with his back pack vacuum and square scrubber Tuesday afternoon. The items cost roughly $6,400.

“We were actually getting ready to buy more which would obviously be a hit to the company,” said Labrut.

Investigators said finding those two items and tracking who sold them opened the door to much more.

"We did a search warrant last week over on Rankin and on Mecca Road over in Mifflin Township. At that time, we discovered there was a bunch of cleaning equipment stolen from this company” said Sgt. James Branam, Columbus Police Auto-Theft Unit.

Labrut says both locations recovered about 90 percent of what was stolen.

But he still had to pay the pawn shop $150 to have the items stolen from him, returned to him.

"So it wasn't extreme considering how much the equipment is actually worth but it is still a large inconvenience and it bothers me a little bit,” said Labrut.

Branam said arrests are coming in this case, and adds that this part of a larger burglary ring under investigation with other stolen items including cars and construction equipment.

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