Fake pawn shop snares thieves

[VIDEO] Evanston police say they responded to an upsurge in burglaries last fall by providing a place this year for thieves to unload their loot while being filmed on hidden cameras.

Several police agencies cooperated for three months to set up and run a pawn shop in a store in the 1600 block of Emerson Street. They say the operation led them to file theft and drug charges against 29 people this month — and that more charges are expected.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says the shop proved very convenient, drawing a lot of repeat customers.

Police are looking to reunite crime victims — including the owner of an autographed Dick Butkus Chicago Bears jersey — with their missing stuff.

Victims can view items at Evanston police headquarters from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week … and should bring a police report and other information identifying the property.

Police from Wilmette, Skokie, Lincolnwood Niles and Waukegan participated in the sting operation along with Evanston police and county sheriff’s deputies.

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