MARIETTA, GA – A Marietta pawnshop owner is in trouble after a six-month sting at his shop by police revealed he was working with the local criminal element to help them move their stolen property.
According to police, for the last six months, the Marietta Police Department (MPD) has been investigating the Pawn World business located at 955 Roswell Street in Marietta Georgia. Tips from the public along with suspicious activity alerted Marietta detectives that the shop may be working with criminals to buy and sell stolen property.
Marietta City code requires all Marietta pawnshops to document the seller of any items they purchase and then log the items into an on-line database. Over the course of several months, MPD detectives were able to confirm stolen items were both being purchased by Pawn World, as well as resold to the public illegally. It was also discovered that the store had been operating without a business license for quite some time. Detectives gathered evidence and methodically built their case. A search warrant for the business was secured earlier this week and was served at 10:30 yesterday morning, December 15, 2020. Once confronted with the charges, the owner of the store, forty-seven-year-old Gordon Blanton of Marietta GA cooperated with investigators. While the inventory of the store is now complete, the investigation continues.
During the store inventory, investigators identified numerous items that were still sealed in their original packaging. They reached out to the corresponding retailers to confirm which items inside Pawn World were stolen from their businesses. Items recovered included electronics, power tools of all types, and assorted sporting goods. Well over (100) stolen items have already been identified and recovered by those retailers, with values in excess of $15,000.
Blanton and his employee, sixty-four-year-old Michael Dituri of Roswell Georgia were arrested and booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center. Blanton faces three Felony charges including Theft by receiving, Theft by conversion, and Theft retail fencing. Dituri faces two misdemeanor charges including Theft by receiving and
Theft retail fencing. Additional charges are possible and will be filed once the investigation is complete.