'Top Pawners' Man Arrested, Accused of Stealing from Lilburn Stores
After a thorough investigation, police believe many of the items that a man pawned in January were stolen from various stores in the area. He turned himself into police in March.
A local man turned himself into police after admitting that this year he stole a number of items he had pawned, including things stolen from Lilburn
Daniel Brown Baker, of Lawrenceville, was arrested March 2 and charged with four counts of theft by shoplifting, seven counts of theft by deception and three counts of theft by taking.
According to the Gwinnett County police report, an officer was checking the "top pawners" list on Business Watch International, and it indicated that Baker was a top pawner with 29 transactions. The list showed that he had pawned eight digital cameras, four DeWalt drills, three wicker fire pits and several other tools that appeared to be brand new.
When police first called Baker, he claimed all the items were his. He explained that some of the items were from Craigslist since he engages in a lot of trading, and he was selling some of the items because his landscaping business was slow at the moment.
When asked him if he had been arrested before, Baker said yes, but it was for reckless driving. As for arrests in connection to thefts, he said, "No, not to my knowledge."
It turns out Baker was arrested recently on Sept. 30, and it was on charges of theft by taking and burglary, police discovered.
Additionally, a police report found later indicated that a DeWalt drill had been reported as stolen from Ace Hardware in Lawrenceville. The serial number matched the item pawned by Baker, according to the report. The manager showed police surveillance video where Baker is seen concealing a drill under his arm and exiting the business, and another video shows Baker doing the same thing with a wrench.
The manager told police that a second wrench and two more drills were missing from their inventory, and data shows Baker had pawned those items, too.
Baker also had pawned three new Alpine fire pits, which is suspected to come from a Kroger in Lilburn.
The officer called Baker again and told him that some of the pawned items have been found to be stolen. When asked about the status of the cameras, drills, wrenches and fire pits, Baker said the cameras were not stolen, but the other items were.
Police eventually met in person with Baker and his attorney. At the meeting, the lawyer explained that Baker had met a young woman who was addicted to heroin. While trying to get her off the drugs, Baker became addicted as well, he said. The attorney admitted that Baker had stolen several items, but he also pawned many of his own items, too.
The officer read Baker his Miranda rights, but he was not arrested then. He turned himself in March 2 after warrants were made for his arrest.
When going through the items he had pawned that were stolen, Baker admitted to stealing the fire pits from Kroger, tools from Ace, a DVD player from the Walmart in Lilburn and four cameras from a CVS in Lilburn.
He did not admit to stealing the cameras and tools immediately, though; he at first said that they were his, but when police told him they had evidence that claimed otherwise, he retracted his statement and admitted to the crimes.