Earlier this year, painting business owner Robert Baker reported to Lubbock Police his $2,000 airless paint sprayer was stolen from him. Then, by accident, a friend of Robert's found the sprayer just last weekend at the Cash America Pawn Shop on 50th Street.
"He bought an airless at the pawn shop goes back to his shop does some checking on it's serial number and finds out it our airless," Robert said. Robert's friend returned the sprayer to the pawn shop thinking Robert would get it back. "We have a $2,000 piece of equipment stolen and do everything we're supposed to do by law, file report to get our equipment back and we're basically going to have to go to court to get our equipment back and I don't think it's right," he said.
Robert showed NewsChannel 11 receipts that proved he owned the airless paint sprayer. But according to police, there are two owners now: Robert Baker and Cash America Pawn Shop. Sergeant Keith Woodard says at this point, it is out of the detectives hands. "If you can't prove the person who pawned it stole it, we take the stolen item to the judge and he decides who the property goes too," said Woodard. Sgt. Woodard did say they have the name of the person who stole it, but they can't find him, but more than likely, in cases like this, the rightful owner is awarded possession.
Robert Baker says the judge told him to put up a $2,000 bond in order to have a property hearing on the item, but you can avoid this altogether. Detectives say to keep a log or take pictures of all your valuable home items and they say to engrave your Drivers License number, rather than your social security number, on property like tools and golf clubs. They say it helps get them find the owner quicker.