Stolen items await return to rightful owners

Stolen items await return to rightful owners
(Source: Bainbridge Public Safety)
(Source: Bainbridge Public Safety)

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - An arrest in Bainbridge led investigators to more than 30 stolen items. Now the search is on to find the owners of the items.

Officials said that a pawn shop ordinance that is expected to pass sometime in the future could have helped solve the case.

The city manager said that owners of pawn shops like City Pawn in Bainbridge have met and plan to address the council Tuesday with the newly drafted ordinance.

The ordinance would enforce shops to keep records of everything that comes through the door. Something investigators said could have helped in this most recent arrest.

"Periodically this will happen, I mean it hasn't happened to me you know with this amount of stuff. We have a lot of stuff in there that hasn't been claimed yet," said Investigator Mark Esquivel, Bainbridge with Bainbridge Public Safety.

Bainbridge Public safety arrested Rontavious Britten, after officers said he ran from them and threw away stolen tools in a nearby dumpster. After bringing him in, investigators said that he admitted to stealing tools from several properties in the area.

"If it's in a shed or outside in a tool pile, let's say a drill or a cordless saw," said Esquivel . "A lot of people don't check those all the time and they really don't miss them until they want to use them."

Investigators said Britten also sold stolen items in Albany where pawn shops are required to keep a record of everything coming into the store. That's something investigators in Bainbridge said would be helpful.

"You know if we could get an inventory of what's pawned maybe month to month, we could say 'Hey yeah that was stolen you know on Sharp Street last month,' and we could start an investigation," explained Esquivel .

A recent ordinance was proposed in Bainbridge to require pawnshop owners to keep records of all items sold and bought. They would also be required to take each customer's photo and fingerprint.

"The intent was never to punish the pawn shops, we don't think the pawn shops are doing anything wrong. We think they are just conducting their business," said Chris Hobby, City Manager of Bainbridge .

More recovered items:

  • Drill (6)
  • Drill Bit Set (2)
  • Corded Saw
  • Circular Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Reciprocating Saw (2)
  • Chainsaw (2)
  • Hacksaw
  • Battery Charger
  • Power Inverter
  • Air Compressor (2)
  • Hedge Clippers (2)
  • Weed Eater
  • Blower
  • Garden Tool Set
  • Tool bag with Tools
  • Laptop
  • Speakers

The main concern of the original ordinance was the use of third party vendors to keep track of records. Pawn shop owners have met several times, and plan on addressing the council next Tuesday.

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