East Texans Go To Pawn Shops For Gas Money

From DVD's to jewelry to guns, pawn shop owners say people are bringing in whatever they can to stay ahead of the gas price hikes. The numbers at the pump keep going up and up, and so are the number of East Texans pawning items for gas money.

Brad Sanders of Tyler's A Plus Pawn Shop says his customers are getting loans for anything with value.

"We see everything you know, guns, jewelry, guitars, just anything," said Sanders. "Mostly stuff that people can go without that won't affect their lifestyle." Robyn O'Neal got a loan on her hunting rifle today.

"I'm actually fixing to go to the gas station right now and the bank to take care of some things," said Robyn O'Neal. "It's an item to me, and I've got have the gas money to do these things and I've got to go to the bank, so it's something I will get back." Down the street, Pete Sifuentes is also seeing an increase in people needing money to fill their tanks.

"I would say 90 percent of people that walk in here, it's gas money," said Sifuentes. "That's what they are looking for. That's what they need." Often times, Sifuentes says people pawn items they have on them.

"I've seen them where they actually, they'll take a ring, well how much can I get for it, well how about a bracelet," said Sifuentes. "They just start taking off jewelry until they get what they want." Until the numbers start going down, local pawn shops say those needing gas money will keep coming in.

Some good news. Gas prices have gone down about 10 cents since last week. Right now, the average for regular unleaded gas is $2.71.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com