Westland pawn shop owners charged with stolen good operation

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Westland police say two men were the masterminds behind a huge criminal enterprise involving stolen goods at the Bank Pawn Shop.

Investigators arrested Mounier Hassan and Blal Taleb after the store was raised the store Thursday on Warren and Venoy.

"This investigation started in September of 2017 when the Westland Police Department received information Bank Pawn Shop and Exchange was buying and selling stolen merchandise," said Sgt. Timothy Liess, Westland police.

"It wasn't a surprise," said a witness. "I saw several different vehicles show up with a bunch of lawn equipment, furniture," said a witness. "Sometimes even commercial lawn equipment. They would pull up, pick up some vans and drop it all off."

The two suspects are the licensed owners of the Bank Pawn Shop according to police, are being charged with organized retail crime and receiving and concealing stolen property.

"Countless persons were stealing merchandise from stores throughout the metro Detroit area," Liess said. "And then selling it to the shopkeepers at the Bank Pawn Shop and Exchange."

Home Depot, Lowes and Target helped police with the seven-month long investigation. Things unraveled for Hassan and Taleb when Westland police conducted operations where undercover officers sold suspected merchandise, Liess said.

Investigators say the suspects used the internet to determine the value of the items and then paid the undercover officers 30 percent of the retail value.

Bond was set for Hassan at $75,000 at 10 percent and Tale’s bond was set at $100,000, 10 percent.