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


“Literally had a customer come in and say “hi, I’ve just stolen this phone off my sister, how much will you give me for it” Also had a customer bring in 5 MacBooks at the same time, with a certain logo on it which gave me the impression they were stolen. Told him to leave them with me for testing and called the police. Had another customer bring in a gun and a crossbow, that was weird (I’m in the UK, this is not a normal thing).”—ashcymru84


“I had this guitar that had a little sliding door on the side, meant to hold picks. I put weed in there as a joke. Completely forgot about it as I was selling it. They were chill.”—shearssweater


“You always gotta look out for the people bringing in a sh*t ton of brand spanking new tools or electronics. Over time you learn to read people based on their appearance, behavior, and personal information. An experienced pawnbroker can almost always immediately sleuth out whether they’re stolen or not (in these cases, they usually are). I’ve never had someone intentionally bring in illicit items, but it’s important to check pockets and compartments on cases and similar things.

It’s not unheard of for some eclectic customer to forget about a lil’ baggie of weed they’d stashed. One guy paid off his loan with cash, and there was a thin layer of white residue coating it (first time I’d seen that one!) Not illegal, but toward the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, some wisecrack nutcase did try to sell us disinfectant. Funny but also annoying.”—fawnseer


“I didn’t work there but was there at the time: a guy brings in a dead duck…which, hunting is illegal in my area and also why just why.”—violetfever8


“So I’m not an owner and I wouldn’t call this illegal per sé, but I feel like I have to share this. A friend of mine owns a pawn shop, and one day a dude walks in with a cardboard box filled to the top with his own sh*t. He claims that it’s magic and my friend cuts him off right there and kicks him out. As he is walking out he drops the box on accident, gets all of his sh*t on the floor, sees the mess he’s made, stares at the horrid pile of sh*t for a couple of seconds, and runs out of the shop. My friend never got his name, and never saw him again. The smell would proceed to linger in the shop for a good month after it was cleaned up.”—CanadaMan01


“Not a pawn shop owner but was in the pawn shop when this happened. Someone brought in a wheelchair with the tag for the local hospital on the back. Example: ‘Property of Somewhere Hospital”. The pawn shop owner told them to leave it and get out. They did and he called the non-emergency line. The police came and picked it up and took it back to the hospital or that’s what they said they were doing.”—FarSidePsy3214


“A friend of mine owns a rather unique store, not a pawn shop, but he sells a lot of authentic medieval weaponry, armour, clothing and similar. While I was there, a young couple decided his shop was the place to sell a few old SS daggers, belts, flags and other Nazi memorabilia; solid logic, except for one thing. We are in Germany. Here the state kind of frowns upon owning or selling this kind of stuff.

They could have donated it to any museum and would have had no issue with the law whatsoever, I mean, it was not their fault they found it, right? But they figured, that if grandpa was a nazi, he could at least help with the funds for the renovations and decided cash was better than being named in a museum-leaflet. My friend was mostly insulted by the idea, that just because he owns a medieval store and sells historic weapons, he must know a nazi collector that would pay cash, but that was the end of it. He told them to get out and donate it, or if they insist on selling it, to ship it to the US. More money from history buffs or at least not one happy little german nazi with a new happy stabby toy.”—SortOfLostSoul


“Not actually me, but my significant other. He manages a store owned by a national chain. Brought in on pawn and as with all neat things he was just waiting for the loan to “drop” (after 30 days of none payment, item goes out for sale). At this point he could purchase it. Now I’m not a HUGE gun historian but I know the era and style and had to ask, “um, that gun is super rare if its’ NOT full auto”. When a gun is taken in on loan the gun is run, not the person, so our state’s Bureau of Investigation was notified of it’s existence. Not only is a federal stamp for automatic weapon expensive af, it’s also difficult to obtain so he was no longer going to purchase it. And it’s a good thing because shortly after the gun was seized by ATF which is when we found out the actual worth. $10,000-20,000 Original owner brought it back as a war trophy, son is the one who got a loan (for, like $200) but it was never registered so it was contraband.”—Snufffaluffaguss


“Not an owner and not illegal, but one of the guys who worked at the place told me that someone brought in a “f—ck box,” a decent sized box that has a switch on it that turns on a motor inside that has a connection to a dildo (included).”—Tact1ca18ac0n


“Not a pawnshop employee or owner, but I bought an iPod classic from a pawnshop and it had some of Hitler’s speeches and “Nazi music” on it. I don’t know if that’s illegal (to have Hitler’s speeches) but it’s certainly very controversial especially since I’ve bought it in Germany, in a region that was always a point of conflict between France and Germany. “—inspirationalqoute