VAN NUYS : Residents Oppose Planned Pawnshop


Hoping to block the opening of a pawnshop, Van Nuys residents have collected more than 400 signatures on a petition requesting a hearing before the Los Angeles Police Commission.

The petition, circulated by two neighborhood watch groups, targets a planned pawnshop at 16105 Victory Blvd., in a mini-mall at the corner of Woodley Avenue.

During the last two months, about 40 narcotics arrests were made by police officers on Woodley between Sherman Way and Victory, said Officer Joe Losorelli.


“I think they are going to be worried about the types of clients that are going to be going in and out of this area, which is primarily residential,” Losorelli said. “A lot of stolen stuff ends up in these pawnshops.”

Several merchants share the residents’ concerns. But Rickey Gelb, who leased the space to the pawnshop, does not.

“I used to be on Van Nuys Boulevard as a merchant and had pawnshops all around me and never had a problem with crime,” Gelb said.

Detective Richard Rudell, in charge of processing permits for pawnshops for the Police Commission, said his department is still investigating the application.

Rudell noted that no guns would be sold at the shop.

He also pointed out that selling stolen merchandise would be discouraged because people who pawn merchandise would be fingerprinted and must provide other identification.

The owner of the planned pawnshop could not be reached for comment.