San José pawn shop searches turn up very few stolen elecronic items

Judicial agents and the municipal police searched 15 pawn shops in the downtown area Wednesday and came up with just 10 suspicious cell telephones and two portable computers.

The pawn shops are clustered in an area between avenidas 1 and 3 at Calle 10. Although the pawn shops, called  compra y ventas here, are an important aspect of Costa Rican budgeting, they also are where thieves dump their loot.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the searches were made with the permission of the store operators. Suspicious goods were found in just six stores. There was one computer that had been reported as having been stolen in a crime and one computer with an altered serial number, said the judicial report.

The cell telephones had altered numbers, the agency said.
A recent survey determined that less than 30 percent of crimes committed in the nation are reported by the victims. So unless there was a report, police and judicial agent would not know that a cell telephone, a computer or other electronic devices had been taken by crooks.

Police said they concentrated on checking electronic item.

The capital’s pawn shops have extensive collections of cameras, lenses and other items that appear to have once belonged to tourists.

Even though they may have loaned just a fraction of the pawnshop061815item’s value to customers, store operators usually want close to market value for their items.

Some shops are open 24 hours a day for the benefit of those who might have an urge to pawn something in the pre-dawn hours.

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