Scranton pawnshop owner charged with accepting stolen goods

Local News

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The owner of a Scranton pawn shop is facing several charges after police say he knowingly accepted stolen goods.

Pennsylvania State Police were contacted by a Home Depot Loss Prevention representative, notifying them that Jeff’s Trading Post, on North Main Street, was selling what appeared to be new-in-box Home Depot power tools.

Jeff’s Trading Post is owned and operated by Jeffrey Decker, police say. The loss prevention representative shared posts from Decker’s Facebook page showing new power tools for sale in their original packaging, several brands that are sold exclusively at Home Depot. Police say Home Depot gift cards were also in some posts.

Police conducted civilian surveillance at the Home Depot store in Dickson City. They observed a person enter the store and steal a backpack full of DeWalt tools. They left the store and were followed to a local pawnshop where police say several subjects entered with the stolen items and exited without them, court papers say.

Three suspects were arrested and police say they were involved in multiple theft investigations. The suspects told investigators they went to Jeff’s Trading Post to sell because “he does not ask a lot of questions”.

Police say Decker would scan the barcode on his cellphone for a retail price and pay the suspects in cash. They said initially Decker would ask for ID, but after the first time never asked.

An informant told police Decker had even suggested specific retail stores that would carry specific items he wanted.

Two of the suspects say they have dealt to Decker dozens of times since November of 2018. Court papers say they pawned stolen bandsaws, generators, pressure washers and air compressors. They told investigators, many times they met Decker at his home to sell larger items. He would pay them cash with no receipt.

Police say Decker would sell the new-in-box items on Facebook, rather than displaying them in his store. An informant told officers most of the new-in-box items were stolen from the Home Depot locations in Honesdale and Dickson City.

A warrant was served for Decker’s residence and police say they recovered over 130 items of suspected stolen property.

The informant also told police Decker had given them a “Christmas Shopping List” to go and steal gifts he wanted to give to his mother, girlfriend and children for Christmas.

Decker is being charged with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, aiding in consummation of crime, theft by unlawful taking, conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, retail theft and conspiracy to commit retail theft.

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