In October 2013, Mesa Detectives began an investigation on the Eazy Pick N Pawn located at 118 N. Alma School in Mesa. The investigation started after a traffic stop where a stolen handgun was located in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified a Aaron Ellertson, owner of Eazy Pick N Pawn.
As the investigation unfolded, detectives found additional information that other items of stolen property were being run through the pawn shop on a daily basis. Property of every type was being purchased by the pawn shop with no questions asked. Televisions, blu-ray players, cellular phones, game systems, jewelry, laptop computers, I-pads, tools and any other items of value were taken in by the pawn shop. Approximately 300 guns were recovered. Three stolen vehicles and one stolen motorcycle were also recovered.
Some of the stolen guns recovered.
The investigation came to a close when detectives served search warrants on the business and locations owned and maintained by Ellertson. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in property is now being gone through to determine the proper owner. Because there are thousands of items recovered it will take some time to try and identify possible owners. In total, sixteen arrests were made in conjunction with the operation.
Additional stolen property recovered.
Working hand in hand with the investigation is ORCA (Organized Retail Crime Association). Members of ORCA have assisted in the identification of property stolen and pawned illegally by the business. When large operations like this are identified, partners like ORCA are crucial to prosecution of suspects.
Working with the citizens of Mesa and retail partners, the Mesa Police Department is dedicated to stopping this type of criminal activity.