Pawn shop taken by gold bar scam; four people arrested

Pawn shop taken by gold bar scam; four people arrested

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Three men and a woman were arrested Tuesday afternoon after reportedly trying to sell fake gold bars at two Shreveport pawn shops.

The scammers made $3,000 when they sold three legitimate-looking bars to Discount Jewelry and Loan in the 2700 block of Mackey Lane.

Store managers there said it was around 1 p.m. when a man walked in with the bars.

"An older, nice, clean-cut guy. He had a whole story and everything, said he needed money to bury his grandmother who just passed," said Stephanie Crockett, assistant store manager.

Five minutes after making the sale, Crockett said they got a call from Shreveport police warning of a gold bar scam happening in the area.

Store manager Edward Tess said the gold bars were far too convincing.

"In my almost 15 years of doing this, I've never seen ones that were that good counterfeit.

"They even put them in real packaging from real companies, even have a scan bar where you can scan with your QR code on your phone and it goes to a website."

After getting the call from police, Crockett said she relayed the description of the seller to officers.

About an hour later, another person selling gold bars walked into the store.

This time, Tess and Crockett said they called police and two men were arrested at the store.

Hours later and nearly four miles away, police units were sent to Brittain's Pawn Shop on Hollywood Avenue to try to thwart another gold bar sale.

Brittain's sales manager, Robert Dorking, said the scammers never got to make their sales pitch.

"There was two customers shopping in the store, and police come in and told them to get their hands on the counter."

Authorities now confirm that three men and a woman were arrested at Brittain's and their car was impounded. It bore an Oklahoma license plate.

"Anytime they got out-of-state plates, there's usually something wrong with it," Dorking said.

Officers have not yet released the identities of the four nor details of the charges against them.

For now, in this scam that spanned multiple stores, these managers hope the last of the sellers is off the streets.

"$3,000 as a small business is a lot of money," Tess said.

"You know how it goes. If it's too good to be true, it is," Dorking said.

Copyright 2017 KSLA. All rights reserved.