Tuscaloosa police set up fake pawn shop to catch crooks

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa police got creative in their crime pursuit. They set up shop and let the crooks come to them. The shop that cops set up was a pawn shop.

Staffed with law enforcement and watched with the careful eye of video cameras, the police department's pawn shop was a hot spot for criminals looking to shift stolen goods.

"They were essentially buying items people would bring in and once they brought these items, we would get photographs of the individuals that would bring the items in and we'd also check items to see if they'd be reported stolen," said Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson.

Police recovered more than $40,000 worth of stolen goods and made 30 arrests.

Chief Anderson credits the FBI, ABC Board and Shelby County Sheriffs deputies who provided undercover agents to work as clerks.