Law enforcement raid for large-scale theft investigation ends at pawn shops in Colorado Springs, Pueblo

Top Dollar Pawn on June 22, 2022.
Top Dollar Pawn on June 22, 2022.(KKTV)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 10:55 AM MDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 4:23 PM MDT
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UPDATE (6/24): The buildings raided by law enforcement have been turned back over to Top Dollar Pawn. The 4th Judicial DA said in a tweet on Friday that the business will determine when and how they reopen.

U.S. Marshals, FBI and local law enforcement have raided four pawn shops as part of an ongoing investigation into a multi-million dollar criminal organization.

Two of the Top Dollar Pawn shops are located in Pueblo and two are in Colorado Springs. Authorities were originally going to share more details on the case with the public Wednesday afternoon, but decided to cancel that news conference.

“As everyone is aware, this is an active and on-going investigation,” part of a statement from Lt. Pamela Castro with the Colorado Springs Police Department reads. “During the course of the investigation today, developments within the case are going to prevent us from holding the press conference this afternoon. We expect law enforcement personnel to remain at the locations of the search warrants for the next 2 or 3 days. There is still no threat to the public. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused but our responsibility is to the integrity of the investigation and the subsequent judicial process.”

11 News spoke to one woman who was devastated by the news. She says she had sold her late mother’s jewelry to one of the locations to pay for her father’s funeral. She had an agreement with the shop to pay them back, with interest, to get her jewelry back.

“The Colorado Springs Police Department has received numerous calls from individuals who have pawned property at Top Dollar Pawn locations. Law Enforcement are not seizing lawfully pawned personal items,” the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office explained. “Individuals should contact Top Dollar Pawn in the future regarding their contracts if they have questions.”

As of Thursday evening, the phone lines at most of the locations were disconnected and it isn’t clear when, or if, the stores will reopen.

Arrest papers obtained by 11 News Partner The Gazette list four defendants, Walt Mauro, Daria Mauro, Mischa Jargowski and Jack Jargowski.

“Between and including January 1, 2018, and June 13, 2022, Defendants engaged in a pattern of buying and selling stolen property sold to them by boosters who stole those items from various retail stores,” part of a news release sent out by the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Thursday reads. “The Defendants would then sell the stolen property in their stores or on eBay. The Defendants were all actively engaged in the limited liability corporation, Top Dollar Pawn. Interviews with boosters and former employees’ detail that the Defendants knew that the items they were buying were stolen. Further, numerous controlled sales operations show that the Defendants acknowledged and ignored any opportunity to obtain information about the new in box items they were buying from well-known boosters. They used the laundered funds to continue to operate their business, buying more stolen property.”

According to the arrest papers, boosters in this case are considered the person or people who stole items and sold them to the defendants.

Charges the defendants are facing include 27 counts of money laundering, theft and pattern of racketeering.

The stores were still closed to the public as of Thursday night.

We will update this article as we receive more information.

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