Gas prices fuel spike in pawn shop business

Sunday, June 1st 2008, 11:59 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

More Oklahomans are pawning household items and family heirlooms as they cope with increasing gas prices.

More than two dozen pawn shop owners said they've seen a spike in business as gas soars toward $4 a gallon.

Pawn shop owner Don Kirk said 35 to 40 percent of his customers are pawning items to pay for gas.

"People with the Humvees, they can afford to buy gas," he said.

But, $4 a gallon gas is taking a toll on the average family, Kirk said.

Korey Richards visited Kirk's store to pawn his laptop.

"You know banks don't make loans to get you gas money from one week to the next," Richards said.

Richards is taking college classes in hopes of getting a better job, but commuting to school is getting expensive. His family has had to cut back on a lot of their expenses.

"We don't go out at all," he said. "I don't remember the last time we went out. I think it was in 2007."