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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Pawn Shop Owner Under Investigation

MORAINE -- Moraine pawn shop owner Jeff Rich, accused of knowingly selling goods stolen by drug addicts to feed their addictions, has bailed out of jail.

Moraine Police say its the result of more than one year of investigation, but for other pawn shops and those who buy and sell there, how do you know if the operation is legitimate?

"We don't like bad pawn shops," said David Bertke, "Everybody thinks we're all bad if one of us is bad."

Bertke was hired by the Rich family 20 years ago to work at the pawn shop named after their family on Watervilet Avenue. Now he owns and runs the place. When he heard the allegations about Jeff Rich and Moraine City Pawn, "We don't understand how people with felonies can work at pawnshops," Bertke said.

Everything pawned in Bertke's shop is held for 15 days. Police checks cereal and model numbers and crosscheck reports.

Bertke said he wasn't surprised about the Moraine raid.

"If he knew they were still in upfront then that's a different story. If somebody starts bringing into many things and we called the police and flag it because we say something is wrong here."

To keep the books and inventory legitimate, the shop on Watervilet is a member of the Better Business Bureau. They ask every customer for a state issued ID.

But, the pawn system isn't foolproof. Sarah Thurman was in the store to buy back some DVDs she reported stolen to police.

"I know that sometimes really hard to tell that someone is selling stolen items," Thurman said, "People will try anything to get money especially if it's for drugs."

Lisa Rich, the suspect's wife declined to comment on the allegations mentioned in this story before speaking to legal counsel.

 
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