12/24/08 — Charges filed in pawn shop theft cases

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Charges filed in pawn shop theft cases

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on December 24, 2008 1:46 PM

Goldsboro authorities, aided by federal officials and private investigators, arrested five people Monday from two local pawn shops on charges of receiving stolen goods, authorities said.

Police Sgt. Chad Calloway said both Quality Jewelry and Pawn and Gold City Pawn, both on Ash Street, are owned by the same organization.

The two pawn shops came under scrutiny after Target Corp., which has a store on Berkeley Boulevard, launched its own inquiry, Calloway said.

"Target Corporation has their own investigators," the sergeant said. "And when they interview people who are shoplifting through their establishments, finding a trend, a lot of the items stolen from their stores was going to those two pawn shops."

Target contacted the FBI, which in turn contacted Goldsboro police, the sergeant said.

"At that point, once we were contacted by those entities, being the Target and the FBI, we got started, and this is the end result."

Federal agents and Goldsboro police officers raided the two pawn shops on Tuesday of last week, seizing a number of items.

Calloway said he did not yet know how much had been seized in total, because he had not fully discussed the case with lead investigator Dwayne Dean on Tuesday morning.

According to a news release, retail theft agents with Lowes Foods in Winston-Salem were also involved. Attempts to reach Calloway on Tuesday afternoon and this morning to ask about the Winston-Salem connection were unsuccessful.

The following people from Quality Jewelry and Pawn were charged after the three-month undercover investigation, police said:

*Mark Anthony Throm, 51, Grant Drive, receiving stolen goods, $5,000 bond.

*Elizabeth Gillespie O'Banion, 37, four counts receiving stolen goods and two counts of pawnbroker record keeping violations, $12,000 unsecured bond.

*Eric C. Ludwig, 56, Bayleaf Drive, pawnbroker record keeping violation, written promise to appear in court.

From Gold City Pawn, two more were charged, authorities said:

*William Christopher Reavis, 38, Two Bridge Lane, two counts receiving stolen goods, one count possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, $10,000 unsecured bond.

*Kelletrina Marie Reavis, 37, Tow Bridge Lane, receiving stolen goods, $5,000 unsecured bond.

First court appearances for the suspects were scheduled from yesterday and will continue until late January, authorities said.

Other entities involved in the organization included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' Wilmington office, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Raleigh field office.