WARREN Pawnshop known for its honesty
The owners work with police to report stolen goods.
By AMY HOUSLEY
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- It's the place to get cash or to shop for a variety of items, but not the place to go if you're trying to unload stolen goods.
Larry's Super Pawn Inc. has been family owned "from day one," said Larry Gilmore Jr, who co-owns the store with his parents.
Now in business 16 years, the store is on the west end of West Market Street, almost to Leavittsburg.
"We created employment for ourselves," Gilmore said, adding it eliminated the worry of ever being out of work.
Originally opened down the street, the store provided jobs for the three, but they went more than a year without a paycheck.
Gilmore's brother and sister were later added to the staff, and now there are five full-time employees besides the family members.
"You'll find a little of everything," Gilmore said, describing the shop as a department store.
Its products include electronics, jewelry and sporting goods.
If a customer asks for something that the store doesn't have, it can be ordered new from a wholesaler.
Pawning is a means of providing a loan, giving customers 90 days to return and claim the items they've surrendered to the store in exchange for the money.
When items are claimed, the store keeps 5 percent per month of the original loan and a $3-per-month storage fee.
Customers can pay storage and interest, like paying rent, to extend the time their item is held by the store.
Gilmore said some customers will leave items for as long as six to eight months, but almost 80 percent of customers return to claim their goods. "It's almost impossible to lose it if you really want it," he said.The store has many customers who have been coming in for years.
Gilmore said pawnshop customers use pawning to get cash when they don't have credit cards or checking accounts.
Other customers sometimes pawn items to keep them safe while on vacation.
Some sell their items outright to the store.
Gilmore said a percentage of the items they sell are unclaimed pawned items, but the store also buys a lot of its inventory.
The most commonly pawned items are electronics, such as game systems, televisions and DVD players, and jewelry.
The most expensive items the store has dealt with besides jewelry are four-wheelers and all-terrain vehicles -- a "dozen or two a year."
The only thing his customers really have in common, Gilmore said, is a need for extra cash for a short time. He uses the example of a retired person with an unexpected bill.
Working with police
The store draws customers from across the region because it is known to be trustworthy. Gilmore said some come many extra miles to deal with him.
Larry's Super Pawn has a tradition of working with the police "any way we can," building a no-nonsense reputation.
Gilmore's father is a retired police officer.
Departments will call the store with a name or Social Security number, and the store will look in its computerized records to see if that person has pawned anything matching the description of stolen items.
Anyone trying to do so is immediately "blackballed" and the store won't deal with them again.
"I try to save them [police] time," said Gilmore.
Gilmore said the store seldom has problems with stolen goods because it is well known the owners "don't tolerate anything."