Woman wrongly imprisoned after pawn shop mix-up

Woman jailed after pawn shop mix-up

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis woman wants answers after she was thrown in jail for the night and accused of stealing a TV she already owned.

The woman's husband said his family received an apology from police and a judge, but they still want to know how this could have happened.

"She went through hell," said the woman's attorney, Leslie Ballin.

The entire case revolves around a 40-inch television.

According to the police affidavit, she sold a TV to Cash America Pawn Shop on Covington Pike. The TV reportedly had a matching serial number to a TV stolen last November.

But though the first 11 digits of the serial number matched, Ballin said, the first six or seven digits of the serial number were for the generic brand of TV.

Ballin said it's the digits afterward that identify each individual TV, numbers not seen in the police document.

"The police could have come to the home and asked so you have a receipt for this, and that never happened," said the woman's husband.

Her husband, a military vet, is a stickler about receipts. Even with the documents, a warrant was issued for his wife's arrest, and she spent a night in jail before a judge threw the case out.

"She never had no kind of criminal records, and she wouldn't steal anyways," her husband said.

The WMC Action News 5 Investigators reached out the MPD and the Cash America Pawn Shop about how serial numbers are recorded and tracked for accuracy.

The manager at the store location was not able to comment and referred us to the company's corporate branch.

"Someone on the outside saying this was resolved quickly, we weren't the ones in jail," Ballin said.

A rep with Cash America's parent company, First Cash, explained that stores do work closely with law enforcement and catalog each item that comes into shops across the country.

However, they would not comment on this specific mix-up.

A spokesperson with MPD said they are still checking with investigators.

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