JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When local pawn shops purchase items, they put the personal information of the seller in a database that is monitored by local police.
When JSO Officer Karen Goodin looked through that database in February of 2013, something seemed strange.
“I didn't understand why someone would pawn a seven carat diamond ring.”
That's just what 51-year-old John Pectle did for $22,000, and there’s more according to Goodin. She noticed that over the past year and half, Pectle sold 184 various items to six different local pawn shops, and made $111,000.
“I saw some high value items that concerned me because he was unemployed.”
But when Goodin crosschecked the items with stolen property reports, nothing was found, which didn't seem right to Goodin so she kept watching.
“Anytime I had any extra time I would continue to look and see if he was still pawning and I would go take pictures of the items.”
In January, she got a break. Pectle sold another ring which was custom made, engraved, and traceable. The jewelry maker identified the owners in Jacksonville, and Goodin learned Pectle was their handyman. The couple soon confirmed all 184 items that he'd pawned were theirs, and the value was $500,000.
“They had been moving back and forth and they weren't sure if some things had been left in boxes. Come to find out they were truly victimized.”
After a year of investigating, Goodin put Pectle in handcuffs last week and says he fully confessed. He’s now charged with 47 counts including grand theft, exploitation of the elderly and falsifying ownership of property. In all, $40,000 of the couple’s items were recovered, including the seven-carat diamond ring.
“Persistence pays off! It’s like putting together a puzzle, and that’s why I like it.”
During her investigation, Goodin learned that some of the pawn shops became hesitant of working with Pectle, when they questioned him about where the items came from. According to his arrest report, Pectle did not return to those locations. Other shop owners told Goodin they chose to move forward with various transactions, because the items were not listed on JSO’s stolen property reports.
Goodin has been with JSO for 23 years and on the Residential Burlary Taskforce for two. Next week, she will be named JSO’s Officer of the Month.
Pectle is being held at the Duval County jail on nearly $500,000 bond, and his next court appearance is February 13.