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pawn shop

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The Next Idea

For centuries, people who need some fast cash have turned to pawn shops: "pawning" some personal treasure for a cash loan.

Today there is a modern way to pawn an item. Instead of driving from shop to shop, you can turn to a Michigan-based startup called PawnGuru and do your dealing online.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County prosecutors are reviewing the case against a Flint city councilman who allegedly pawned his city issued laptop.

Councilman Eric Mays admits he pawned the laptop for $100. He later reclaimed it. He told a Flint-based web news outlet that he didn’t consider pawning the laptop was “criminal.”

“I think it just shows I’m poor,” Mays told Flint Beat. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A trio of bills in the Michigan legislature would create a statewide database of second hand shop sales. 

State Representative Mike Callton says a single data base will help police officers track stolen goods that thieves may try to sell to pawn shops, gold dealers and other second hand stores.

“If it turned up in any pawn shop, buy-n-sell or precious metal buyer, it would show up in that registry,” says Callton, “(Police) wouldn’t have to be looking all over the state.”