Manager of pawn shop charged with lying about stolen items

June 18, 2018 06:22 PM

The manager of a local pawn shop, 25-year-old Vincent Flanagan, is under arrest Monday after a News10NBC investigation discovered stolen stuff for sale on the shop's eBay site.  

It was just two weeks ago, the owner told News10NBC that this was all a big misunderstanding.   

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Flanagan maintains the same response Monday but his manager at Rochester Pawn and Gold has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property and making false statements to police.  

While Rich Merriam was laying in a hospital bed fighting brain cancer, his house was looted.  Tools, TVs, gaming systems, generators were all stolen.   

"It was nonsense, absolute nonsense," stated Merriam. 

Much of the stuff had been sold to local pawn shops. Monroe County sheriff's deputies were able to recover *some* of it.    

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke: "Most of the high ticket items were not the ones they gave you back?" 

Monroe County officers:  "Correct." 

Deputies say Flanagan didn't just tell them this tool set had already been sold, he signed a deposition insisting it. However, Merriam found it for sale on an eBay site run by Rochester Pawn and Gold a few weeks later.  

He called News10NBC and we went straight to the pawn shop where the owner insisted it was all a misunderstanding and agreed to hand it over. 

"I think once you recovered the stuff out of there, the writing was on the wall," stated Merriam. 

Lewke: "Did you know that they had the toolkit before we did the story? " 

Monroe County deputy: "We knew it was on eBay however, with that specific toolkit, there were more than one of them out there so we looked at the pictures and the totality of the circumstances." 

Merriam will get it back after the criminal case is over but his persistence wasn't just about a toolkit.

"I looked at his mug shot there and he lied right to my face, denied that he had the stuff.  My big concern, more than my stolen stuff, is the other people." 

Lewke: "Do you have reason to believe this gentleman may have lied to you in the past, during other criminal investigations?" 

Monroe County deputy: "In this pawn shop specifically?  I don't know. We've had other cases with this shop and there's been times when they've been extremely cooperative and other times when we don't know." 

The manager at Rochester Pawn and Gold is criminally charged and will appear in court Tuesday morning. The owner is facing a citation too and it's not his first. 


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