By Dan Bewley, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- As the Tulsa Police Department continues to work to break up a burglary ring, viewers of The News On 6 are asking why Gladys, an 87-year-old woman, had to pay $200 to get her stolen wedding ring back.
9/17/2009 Related Story: Rings Taken In Burglary Returned To Tulsa Woman
"It was scary. It scared me to death," Gladys said in an interview last week.
Last Monday, Gladys' home was burglarized. Guns and jewelry were stolen, including her wedding band and engagement ring.
Police eventually found the ring at the Golden Pawn II and Gladys paid $200 to get it out of hock.
Haskell Gray is the store's manager. He says he only charged Gladys what he paid for the ring, and police say he did nothing wrong.
Police say Gladys had two choices -- pay to get her ring back or wait several months for the property to make its way through the investigation, then face a hearing where a magistrate decides if the ring is indeed hers.
Gray says by paying for the ring, Gladys can claim that $200 in any future lawsuit against the suspects.
"So she came in, she gave us the money, and got her stuff and she can list that as her loss and reclaim that money for restitution," said Haskell Gray with Golden Pawn II.
Pawn shops are required to report every transaction to authorities. Tickets keep track of each buy and pawn.
Tulsa Police say nearly all of the city's pawn shops, including Golden Pawn II, cooperate with TPD. In fact, officers say a pawn shop is the best place for your stolen property to show up.
"The simple fact of the matter is we would not get as much stuff back for victims if it weren't for pawn shops. If somebody steals something, people in Tulsa should hope that they go to a pawn shop," said Sgt. Brandon Watkins, Tulsa Police.
The key, Sgt. Watkins says, is to write down your serial numbers. It's the easiest way to track stolen property that lands in a pawn shop.