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Pawn shops help find stolen goods

Police say items sold online are tougher to track down

9:45 PM, Feb. 5, 2013
George Thomsen, manager of E-Ways Sales & Pawn in Wisconsin Rapids, right, helps a customer last week. Local law enforcement say it's easier to track stolen goods that are sold to a pawn shop, but find it tough to track the same merchandise that is sold online.
George Thomsen, manager of E-Ways Sales & Pawn in Wisconsin Rapids, right, helps a customer last week. Local law enforcement say it's easier to track stolen goods that are sold to a pawn shop, but find it tough to track the same merchandise that is sold online.
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Pawn shops can help police track down criminals, but law enforcement officials say they can use more help monitoring online sales.

Wisconsin pawn shops are connected to a statewide database so police can search for merchandise that has been stolen or taken as part of a burglary.

But more and more stolen merchandise is being sold online, and that's more than police can keep up with, especially with the increased numbers of burglaries lately. Police say they saw an increase in the numbers of burglaries in 2012, leading to more merchandise being dumped for quick cash. ...

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