Stolen merchandise from big box retailers was found inside a Huntsville pawn shop. That's according to Huntsville Police. And investigators say that stolen inventory is worth thousands of dollars.
The owner of that pawn shop opened up off-camera with WAAY 31. When we talked with Mark Vess, the first thing he told WAAY 31 was "We haven't done anything wrong."
Still, Huntsville Police took away truckloads of pawned items trying to figure out who is in the wrong.
It's something of a Huntsville institution. "I've been a customer of Busters since his dad had the business," Yvette Robinson told WAAY 31. Robinson and her daughter Taleah come to Busters Pawn Shop pretty regularly.
"I've been to a lot of pawn shops because that's my thing," Robinson said. "A lot of them don't have heart. Mark and them, they have heart."
Busters may have stolen Robinson's heart. But, police raided the store looking for stolen merchandise.
"A couple corporate retailers notified Huntsville Police," Lt. Michael Johnson told us. He says big box stores raised the red flag at Busters.
"At this particular pawn shop, it was a lot of merchandise possibly being stolen and being sold through the pawn shop," Johnson explained.
Huntsville Police say they hauled out an unreasonable amount of brand new still sealed-in-the-box retail merchandise -- more than a typical pawn shop should have. But, the folks inside Busters tell WAAY 31 they do everything they can to make sure they don't buy stolen stuff.
"I don't care how many times I come in here and how well they know me, I have to present my ID,” Robinson said. “I have to present my social security number and my birthdate."
Recording personal information is just the beginning. Off-camera, Mark Vess tells WAAY 31 they even enter serial numbers and product details into a data base for police to keep their eyes on.
"He's never cut me any slack,” Robinson told us. “And I think I'm his best customer. So, I know he's not going to cut anybody else any slack."
Now the question for Huntsville Police: "Who to hold accountable for this inventory of possible stolen merchandise is the question," Lt. Johnson said.
Yvette Robinson knows the merchandise may be stolen. But, she trusts her friends inside Busters are innocent.
"Put it like this,” Robinson wrapped up. “When the smoke clears, Busters will still be standing strong and honest."
After their merchandise seizure, Huntsville Police continue to work with the District Attorney's office. Expect the investigation to continue for the next few weeks.
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