Burglars use websites, social media apps to pawn your stolen stuff

WASHINGTON — Craig’s List and E-Bay are a couple of places you could look online for your stolen stuff if you become a burglary victim. Thieves have often unloaded stolen goods at pawn shops but, these days, many crooks are selling the loot online.

“Thieves are getting away from the traditional avenue for disposing of stolen property at pawn shops,” says Officer Rick Goodale, spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department.

Police say thieves know that what they sell at a pawnshop will be recorded in a database. They also know that most pawn shops have surveillance cameras that could capture their images.

“It is becoming more popular for thieves to place items for sale on social media apps,” Goodale says.

Last month a Germantown burglary victim found his $20,000 worth of high-tech stolen gear on an app called “Offer Up.”

“Craig’s List has always been popular, as well as E-Bay,” says Goodale, referring to two other sites that hold the potential for stolen goods.

“If you go on Facebook, pretty much every area has a yard sale site for their particular area, so there could be plenty of sites out there that could have potential stolen property on it,” Goodale says.

Police say that if you see your stolen stuff online, contact police and don’t try to recover it on your own.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up