Report a Stolen Item to Heartland Pawnbrokers

Stolen Property—it happens, and sometimes we’re in the middle of it. We don’t like it any more than you do. While we can’t do anything about it, we can help you try to recover any items you lost.

Heartland Pawnbrokers, like all licensed pawnbrokers in Kansas, are required to report to Law Enforcement every item that we buy or loan. Every item. Every day. We report through Leads-on-Line – a nationwide database utilized by Law Enforcement in all of Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka and across the nation. Keep your serial numbers, take photos of your jewelry, keep firearms in a vault.

Sometimes it’s surprising to learn, but less than 1/2 of 1% of items we take are ever the subject of theft or misappropriation.

We require an ID on each transaction. and ask our customers questions designed to help determine ownership. And, quite simply, we don’t need the headache. Because of our preventative techniques, we don’t see a lot of stolen goods. However, if you’d like a better understanding of how the process works, or possibly recovering your items, we can help.

Please keep in mind that we are required by law to keep transaction details confidential and only Law Enforcement can release details. They have access to every transaction. While we can be on the lookout, we cannot tell you anything specific on any person or persons.

Report a Stolen Item

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How to Report

If you discover an item missing, you should file a police report, providing as many details as possible. This should include serial numbers, photos, potential suspects, etc. This makes them aware of what they need to know, as they have the ability to search all area pawn shops across the metro and many more nationwide. Firearms are entered into a nationwide database and remain there until recovered.

Timeliness is important.

A car may be stopped and they may find a trunk full of items, but if they don’t know who it belongs to, it goes to a property room with items found in drug houses and abandoned properties. Items not claimed or ever reported missing are auctioned off after a period of time.

When a child or relative is suspected, we still recommend filing a police report.

How to Recover

If your item is found in a pawn shop, typically Law Enforcement is notified and they will place a “Hold” on the item or confiscate the item altogether. Your item will be held pending a Court Property Hearing or until the case is resolved. This may take anywhere from 3 months to a year depending on the District Attorney. In certain situations where the item is needed, you may be permitted to recover the item and hold it yourself. Any money that you spent to recover your items could be recovered during the restitution process.

Only a Court can determine property ownership—not Law Enforcement. At a Property Hearing, several people may have a claim to the item besides yourself. If an insurance claim was filed, the Insurance company has an interest. The pawn shop that purchased the item has an interest. The person that sold or loaned the item may actually claim to be the owner. An ex-spouse, a rent-to-own company, even a finance company… the list goes on. Property ownership can be very confusing, which is why a Court should be involved.

In the event of a spousal or partner theft, the ownership is often not determined until a civil proceeding. If you are determined to be the true owner, the Court will order the return of property and the pawn shop or other parties will be awarded restitution if and when the case is settled.

Many times, a family member or close friend is the suspect and you may not wish to pursue charges. In this event, you will be required to reimburse the pawn shop or whoever has the item, usually for the amount they have invested in the item. You would be given a receipt which could be used to recover money in a small claims action.

Where to look

It’s not often that all of your property turns up in one location. Hopefully Law Enforcement can find one item and get a suspect’s name. Since all licensed pawn shops collect this information, it can make the recovery process easier.

Besides notifying Law Enforcement, contact local pawn shops and provide a list of items with serial numbers or other identifying marks. Photos of jewelry are most helpful. Pawn shop personnel often turn away suspected stolen property. Sometimes they can stall the suspect until Law Enforcement arrives, but ultimately, they cannot confiscate items, as they are not a Court of Law. Let the pawn shop know if you are willing to reimburse them if they have to buy the item.

While this may sound crazy, remember that by buying the item, Law Enforcement now has a lead that could help recover other items that were taken. The sooner a lead is developed, the sooner Law Enforcement can follow up and maybe prevent all of your items from getting traded or sold on non-reporting marketplaces.

Other places to look: Facebook Marketplace – Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade Channels – eBay – Flea Markets – Craigslist – LetGo – Mercari – OfferUp – Garage Sales – Auction Houses – Jewelry Stores – Cash for Gold Stores – Antique Stores – Etsy – Plato’s Closet – Consignment stores – firearms dealers – video game stores – phone kiosks and stores – construction sites – gun shows – secondhand stores.


Precious metals dealers are required to report to law enforcement, but the majority of other places do not.

How A Pawn Shop Processes Items:

Understanding how a pawn shop processes items can be important in the recovery of your items. We often see people wandering through the store looking for their property. And that’s okay, but often results in poor results. Don’t be shy. Ask to speak to the manager or another person in charge. They are the people that see most of the items that are presented, held in loan, or purchased. The merchandise on the floor is just a small percentage.

An item that comes into a pawn shop is either purchased or pawned. If purchased, it is held from the public for at least 10 days. An item that is used for collateral in a loan cannot be placed on sale for at least three months! (Thieves know this too). After the hold period, items may be placed out for sale, and sometimes reserved in a back room for listing on a website. Chain stores sometimes transfer items to stores where the item may sell better.

Depending on the store, anywhere from 50 to 80% of jewelry may never see the sales floor and may end up being refined or sold on the wholesale market. For example, a ring brought in for a loan in January that is held for three months won’t be on the floor until at least April. And if it needs cleaned, it can take another several weeks.

This is why it’s so important to work with your local pawnbroker. In most shops, individual inventory can be traced back to an original ticket. Pawnbrokers should be considered your ally in the fight against crime and in the recovery of your property.