MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN)– Police arrested the man who runs a pawn shop after a lengthy investigation revealed he was receiving stolen property.
Wednesday night, officials obtained a search warrant to go into Moraine City Pawn at 4725 Springboro Pike.
Moraine Detective Andy Parish said they have been investigating the pawn shop for the last year and a half.
Officials arrested Jeff Rich, who operates the shop with his wife, Lisa.
Police also obtained a search warrant for the couple’s home on Belvoir Drive in Kettering.
Initially, Rich denied having some of the items police were asking about. After searching Rich’s home, they discovered some of the items– specifically, a guitar.
Detective Parish said it’s the same groups of people, coming from the Franklin and Middletown areas, that were first stealing items from big box retail stores.
“Then they’re turning that merchandise into the store, obtaining gift cards and store credits, or they’re taking that merchandise directly to the pawn shop and selling those items,” said Parish.
During daily checks of the business, police noticed an alarming number of gift cards– that, along with tips on the street led to Rich’s arrest.
According to Detective Parish, Rich was playing a bigger role in what he calls the city’s drug problem. He said the people re-selling stolen items were looking for money to buy drugs– mostly heroin.
“His behavior in accepting this merchandise is bringing these people to our community, they’re stealing from our community, and they’re buying drugs in our community. Because he’s providing them with a means to do so.”