Northwest Ohio pawn shops on alert for holiday thieves

By Jonathan Walsh - bio | email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Crime experts say folks homes are targets for burglars during the holidays as crooks know what good fortune awaits them under others Christmas trees.

Area pawn shops are taking extra precautions as criminals try to sell their loot.

Ed Szymanski, owner of Estate Jewelers, says he calls detectives on anything that doesn't seem right. He makes copies of IDs and of the items themselves, especially at busy times, like right before Christmas.

Szymanski says he sees "a lot more people coming in… cashing in their older jewelry and they're getting Christmas gifts for their kids."

With break-ins across Northwest Ohio on the rise, WTOL's Crime Expert, retired Sergeant Richard Murphy says folks should protect themselves by watching for suspicious people in their  neighborhoods, keeping drapes closed and leaving a radio on when not at home.

"Make it harder for him; don't give him any telltale signs. Leave some lights on the outside," said Murphy.