Military gear makes it way through pawn market

By Kelsey Stiglitz

April 19, 2018

While stolen goods may come into pawn shops, military gear or surplus goods sometimes come in less than honestly too.

A Jacksonville woman has been accused of selling her husband’s military gear.

Jessica Ann Rodgers, 29, of Baysden Drive in Jacksonville was charged Monday by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with felony larceny, felony possession of stolen property and four counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

According to warrants, Rodgers is accused of selling her husband’s military gear without his knowledge or consent at the Southern Trade Emporium on 111 Marine Blvd.

According to Major Chris Thomas with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, it was a domestic situation and Rodgers was charged because the gear she allegedly sold belonged to the military, not her husband.

Thomas said the couple is estranged, and Rodgers’ husband was not aware of the alleged sale until he discovered he was missing gear. He contacted law enforcement to report the stolen gear.

Devon Wagner, the manager of Southern Trade Emporium, said there’s no way to verify stolen gear at the time of sale, but the sheriff’s office uses LeadsOnline to keep up with reports of stolen property.

When Wagner buys a new item, he records it in LeadsOnline and then staff waits a week before it is placed on the floor. This allows cases to be solved by law enforcement, if items pawned or sold are stolen.

“It’s a gamble for us,” Wagner said. “If police come in and take it we don’t get anything back.”

In the case of an estranged military spouse, Wagner said those kinds of sales are common, but he sees even more cases of family members selling items for other motives. And in many cases, the family member whose property is in question will forgive and forget, making it hard for the pawn shop to seek reimbursement.

“The sad part is most of the time the family member drops the case,” Wagner said.

Wagner said he’s seen his share of suspicious sales, especially when clients come in with an excessive amount of issued military gear.

“We’ve had a couple instances like a truck full of brand-new military boots,” Wagner said. “When it’s something that you’re only issued one of, that’s the clear signs but that’s really it.”
Rodgers’ bond was set at $15,000 and she remained in custody as of late Wednesday, according to VineLink.

She is scheduled to appear in Onslow County district court on May 8 for these charges, according to N.C. Courts.

Wagner jokingly gave advice to people wanting to pawn items, saying, “Don’t sell stolen stuff.”