Indictment: N. Charleston pawn shop was center of online theft conspiracy

(Photo: Harve Jacobs)
(Photo: Harve Jacobs)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Federal indictments state that nine people have been accused of being a part of an online theft conspiracy that was based out of a North Charleston pawn shop.

According to an indictment filed on Tuesday, Eugene Walter Jones, who owns Patriot Pawn on 6842 Rivers Ave., recruited several people to steal merchandise from retail stores which included Lowes, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Belk, K-Mart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Best Buy.

"The hay is in the barn and bad decisions have been made," said Jones who says he is cooperating with authorities.

Authorities say Jones instructed his co-conspirators to steal specific merchandise, including vacuum cleaners, calculators, computer software, tool kits, electronic devices and kitchen appliances.

An affidavit states the stolen goods were then taken to Patriot Pawn where Jones, Rashaad Lewis and John Long bought the stolen goods for far less than retail value, knowing the goods had been stolen.

The stolen goods were stored at the pawn shop and at a storage facility in Goose Creek, according to authorities.

Federal documents state Jones, with the assistance of Long and Danny Ray Beacham, a former police officer, sold the stolen goods on eBay.

After Jones' eBay account, "specialandloweugene," was suspended for fraud, Beacham allowed Jones to use his account, "cowboyzrule6w4b" to sell the stolen goods, authorities say.

Court records state that during the conspiracy, more than $1 million in stolen goods were sold on eBay and transported to other states including Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and California.

Jones, Beacham, Long, Lewis, Jerome Smalls, Kelly Wingate, Philip Wingate, Catherine Yantis and Gerald Sullivan, Jr. are all named in the indictment for conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce.

Authorities say the conspiracy started around 2007 and ended in 2012.

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