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Items sold at 'Hardcore Pawn' shop linked to Park Ridge burglary

February 3, 2014

Items that turned up at a well-known Chicago pawn shop led police to arrest a man in connection with a burglary that happened in Park Ridge last October.

Thomas Lee, 28, of the 6200 block of Kedvale Avenue, Chicago, was charged with possession of stolen property on Jan. 23 after Park Ridge investigators tied him to several items that had been pawned at the South Loop shop featured on the reality show "Hardcore Pawn: Chicago," according to Deputy Police Chief Lou Jogmen.

Detectives, checking digital images of items that had been pawned at various shops, identified Lee as pawning jewelry at Royal Pawn Shop, 428 S. Clark St. — pieces that had been reported stolen from a home on the 300 block of Austin Avenue on Oct. 2, Jogmen said.

"We could not charge him with the actual burglary because there is no evidence at this point to him being in the house," Jogmen said.

But police were able to determine Lee was the man who allegedly pawned the stolen items because all pawn shops require sellers to provide identification, Jogmen said.

Detectives recovered several pieces of jewelry from the shop that the residents of the burglarized Park Ridge home identified as belonging to them, Jogmen said. He described the jewelry items as "unique pieces."

Cash, a laptop computer and some electronics were also reported stolen during the burglary which occurred between 8 a.m. and 4:50 p.m., Oct. 2. A door had been pried open to gain entry to the home.

Police arrested Lee while he was in custody at the Lincolnwood Police Station on an unrelated charge, police said.

Lee's next court date is Feb. 27.


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