Desperate Lubbock drivers pawning personal items to buy gas

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 4:59 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - According to Gas Buddy, the average gas price in Lubbock is above $4.50 a gallon. With prices on the rise, some drivers are having to pawn their personal possessions just to buy gas.

Store manager of Pawn Texas, Eilsel Garcia, says people who need quick cash are pawning their guns, electronics, and sentimental jewelry.

“They’re coming in and they’re pawning their personal items to help them out and we’re here to help them out,” Garcia said.

He says each day there are more and more people coming in desperate for any help they can get, usually to fill up their gas tank.

“People have to go to work sometimes and this morning I had a customer come in and they were on “E” and they pawned some personal items to help them out,” Garcia said. “So, they’re really struggling.”

These items could be tools, computers, phones, gaming consoles, or as Garcia says, sometimes priceless heirlooms.

“Sometimes it’s an inheritance from their grandma or their mom or even a wedding ring,” Garcia said.

Sometimes getting somewhere is more important than the item. That was the case for Caitlyn Patterson, who was there trying to pawn her earbuds, hoping to go see family in an emergency.

“It’s kind of dark, I gotta get home to see my grandma, she’s probably not gonna make it,” Patterson said. “She’s been in the hospital for a few days.”

When she was asked how much money she was hoping to get, she said whatever she could get, because anything would help.

General manager, Irene Longoria, says sometimes people don’t want to ask for help.

“It’s the stigma of coming into a pawn shop,” Longoria said. “A lot of people are afraid to come in a pawn shop or they’re embarrassed to come into the pawn shop.”

While pawning and selling are up, Longoria says purchases are down. She says the store is overflowing with merchandise.

“Our sales have gone down a little bit,” Longoria says. “We try to work the counters, but yes, we are seeing our sales going down a little bit, our merchandise is increasing quite a bit.”

Longoria says the store had promotional sales to sell some of that merchandise so the employees can continue to help people. She encourages everyone who comes in with an item to specify how much money you need, so they can work with you as much as possible.

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