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25 Pawnshop Employees Share The “Most Illegal Thing” A Customer Tried To Pawn

Pawnshops are sometimes sketchy places, right? Cue images of cigarette-wielding pawnshop employees evaluating stolen diamonds and bags of…taxidermied body parts or boxes of WW2 rifles, while negotiating with people who probably did something they will take to their graves in order to make a buck.

Or, you know, maybe they’re just cool dudes who star in a reality TV family pawnshop business, buying vintage movie posters and chatting with curious customers. Whatever the case, it’s just a fact that some weird stuff comes through those doors…

So one Reddit user, ManasDas24, asked the pawnshop owners of Reddit (who, yes, exist in abundance and have all seen MANY stolen guns and laptops, apparently) to tell their sketchiest tales:

Pawn shop owners, what was the most illegal thing a customer had brought to your shop ? from r/AskReddit

Here’s all the sordid (and sort of cool) stuff that’s come their way:

1.

“Worked at a gun shop and a shady looking guy brought in a few pairs of night vision goggles, like high-end military-grade PVS-14 night vision goggles. I ask him why he was selling them “oh, I just don’t need them anymore.” Cool man, do you mind if I call the company real quick and run the numbers? Sometimes this stuff is stolen property. And as soon as I said that he jumped across the counter, grabbed the googles and bolted for the door.”—atomiccheesegod

2.

“Employee not owner. A guy brought in a stack of like 15 laptops that all said property of city Public School right on the top of each one. He then threatened to shoot me when I told him to get out. Edit: Because it’s been brought up multiple times: yes, I am aware that schools/businesses, etc. sometimes sell off old laptops. Which is why I don’t flat out call the cops whenever somebody brings in a suspected stolen item. There’s always the chance that no matter how obviously stolen it is the person owns it legit. However, I’m not going to risk my job or my conscience by taking in an item, if it has a label on it claiming it’s somebody else’s property. Also, how am I supposed to sell a laptop that says property of city Public Schools on it. Pawn shops have a bad enough rap as it is.”—threeleftturn

3.

“Buddy of mine worked at a pawnshop for a few years, they had a guy try to sell them a police walkie talkie, like straight stolen from a car but with the battery taken out. They told him to get f*cked and called the cops. I believe they picked the guy up a few hours later.”—_leetster

4.

“This just reminded me of my “friend” who pawned the DSLR camera I let him borrow for a school project. I asked for it back a good amount of times and not once did he tell me what he did. I had to hear it from someone else and then he claimed that I gave it to him.”—marechem

5.

“Not an owner but an employee a man brought in a bag of cocaine and said if I would buy it then resell it back to him in a couple of days.”—moist_mop

6.

“Not an owner, but I got a call from a pawn shop saying that one of my at-home employees tried to sell her work computer. It has my company’s logo and contact info right on it plain as day. How stupid can some people be?”—veekam

7.

“I knew someone once who was into some bad stuff. He didn’t have his school-provided laptop at class one day, and never again after that; as it turns out, it was his, for these laptops were indeed our own personal property, even though the school “gave them to us.” But, the thing is, what they meant by “giving each student a nice, free laptop” was overcharging that mf’er times two and building it into the price of tuition and, therefore, a/the student loan. So, I had that computer for aw hile; he sold his to a pawn store.”—rylucas

8.

“A guy literally brought in an RPG. He was doing yard work for this old lady whose husband had passed. She gave it to him for doing some yard work not realizing it was live and active. The guy was career military and after the bomb squad came and disabled it, they went to her house and found a trove of similarly very illegal military-grade weapons.”—bisk0ot

9.

“Just a worker here, but we had a couple come in to pawn their backhoe over the weekend (happens a lot) and brought their bill of sale. They wanted a simple $1k loan which wasn’t bad considering how much it was worth. No more than 30 minutes later cops are there with the owner. Apparently they worked for him and went and pawned all of his industrial equipment.”—supriserape

10.

“In a similar vein, my friend found some weed in the oven he bought from a used appliance store. The shop called him to ask about the oven. Luckily, he didn’t give out his address.”—cxiong9