SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 6, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — State officials have filed felony charges against the manager of West Jordan’s Xtreme Pawn after an investigation concluded that many of the items being sold were stolen from retail businesses.
“The Utah Attorney General’s office has filed eight felony charges against John ‘Johnny’ Jones, manager of West Jordan Xtreme Pawn, for a continuing pattern of buying and selling property with the knowledge that the merchandise was stolen from various retail businesses in Utah,” a statement from the attorney general’s office says.
“Detectives seized an estimated $1.2 million in brand new in-the-box merchandise when warrants were served during the investigation.”
The AG statement alleges that Jones and his employees purchased numerous items from people “… who often admit to opioid/heroin addiction, steal merchandise with the intent of selling it to buy more drugs.” The statement says Jones “… bought thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise and then resold it at a profit, knowing it was stolen from the retailers and that the money exchanged would be likely used to purchase more drugs.
“This case is one arrest in a growing and serious problem which is costing the retailers and consumers millions of dollars this year,” the statement says.
Court documents say Jones has been charged on suspicion of:
- Communications fraud, a first-degree felony
- Pattern of unlawful activity, a first-degree felony
- Theft of lost, mislaid or mistakenly delivered property, a second-degree felony
- Five counts of receiving stolen property, one a first-degree felony, one a second-degree felony and three as third-degree felonies
“As the result of a criminal investigation, undercover officers stated that they witnessed transactions where property was sold to Xtreme Pawn ‘…with little or no questions about the origin of items, why they were selling rather than returning, or if a receipt was available,'” the statement says.
“Retailers ‘expressed concern about the volume of brand new in-the-box items being sold online by a number of pawnshops along the Wasatch Front.’ Several items were documented for sale with the retailer’s ‘spider wire’ anti-theft device still on the package. The affected retail and outlet stores included Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Shopko, Kroger Foods, Bed Bath and Beyond, CVS Pharmacy and others.”
A witness told investigators that Jones “admitted that ‘probably 80% of everything they buy is stolen.'” One of the shoplifters said Extreme Pawn would “never ask questions and would buy anything,” The statement says.
“The suspect John Jones has been ordered to self-surrender to Salt Lake County Jail prior to his next court date on Sept. 6, 2019. Xtreme Pawn in West Jordan remains open for business. This investigation is ongoing.”
Read the charging document here.