They also seized merchandise believed to have been stolen and pawned.
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WATE) – Police in Barbourville say two men are in custody and T & L Pawn Shop close to being shut down after a criminal scheme is busted.
Investigators say the store was buying items from shoplifters then selling them at the shop.
They believe this has been going for at least 10 years at various pawn shops owned by the same people. They say Lewis and Michael Gray would, in some cases, recruit shoplifters and give them a wish list of items.
The Barbourville Walmart was a major target. Many other stores had also fallen victim.
Det. Steve Owens says stores may have been targeted in Barbourville, Corbin, Middlesboro and London.
We're told the new items would be brought into the pawn shop, then resold at a good price.
"There were individuals who came in with obviously stolen items in the packaging they would accept. And there's other information to suggest employees would make special requests for items," Det. Owens said.
Police worked with one of those shoplifters, getting him to pick up a wish list from the Grays, then picking up the items from Walmart, who was also in on the sting.
When those items ended up on sale at T & L Pawn Shop, the pair was busted. The Barbourville Police Department says this is a crime going on at various pawn shops in the country, but they don't always have a good opportunity to catch the criminals.
In this case, there was. The pawn shop is in the process of being shut down.