Trading Post Pawn Shop owner: ‘There is no justice here!’

Trading Post Pawn Shop owners Mark Kirzner(left) and Mikhail Gurevich(right) say they have been in business for eight years, and up until last week's raid, had established a trusted reputation in the community.

LANCASTER – Last week gang detectives from the Sheriff’s Department descending on the Trading Post Pawn Shop and the duplex directly behind the store, after obtaining information that employees of the pawn shop were taking in stolen property and dealing drugs, according to a news release by the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station. Read more here.

The owners of the Trading Post Pawn Shop gave their side of the story Thursday.

Co-owners Mark Kirzner and Mikhail Gurevich said they had not seen a copy of the warrant giving deputies the right to search their store, deputies had seized licensed firearms from the store’s safe, and the raid had caused untold damage to their business’s reputation in the community.

Owners say they have proper legal documentation for the guns seized at the Trading Post last week.

“There is no justice here!” said Kirzner.

Kirzner said his store’s alarm company called him in the early morning hours of Feb. 15 to notify him that there was activity in the store and law enforcement was not responding to the call. He said he drove to the store from his Granada Hills home, arriving around 7 a.m., and was confronted by dozens of officers in swat gear who treated him harshly.

“They said to open the safe and go,” Kirzner said. “They said they had a warrant but nobody showed me the search warrant or gave me a copy of it. It is their responsibility to show me what they are doing here…”

He said deputies ordered him outside and then searched his store for about an hour. He said he could not immediately give them access to the safe so the fire department came in, broke the locks to his safe and then seized his weapons.

“These are legally owned, two handguns and one shotgun, they’re mine and my partner’s and never been used somewhere else, just used for our protection,” Kirzner said, before showing handgun safety certificates and receipts for the guns.

“They took our stuff and they did not give us any papers to say what it is they took, and they didn’t give us any explanation about why they broke in,” said Kirzner’s wife Gerta Zelma. “They don’t return our calls to find out what is going on.”

Deputies also raided the duplex behind the pawn shop, which is where they recovered the alleged stolen items.

Kirzner said deputies raided the duplex behind his store where two of his employees were staying. He said he does not own the property behind his store and has no connection to the property. He said deputies arrested two of his employees Scott Densley, 51, and Randel Sagraves, 53, along with their wives.

Kirzner said the wives and one of the employees, Densley, were let go without being charged, and as of early Thursday morning, Sagraves was out on bail.

Kirzner said he found out why deputies were at his store only after reading about it in the media and was horrified that his business appeared to be linked to a drug operation.

“I never saw any drugs, I never saw them [employees] do drugs, if I did, I would fire them right away,” Kirzner said.

“If they take a dollar without a ticket, I would fire them right away,” co-owner Gurevich said.

Store owners are demanding their firearms back from the Sheriff’s Department, and said they would like an apology as well.

“There is no legitimate reason for them to accuse the shop,” said Gerta Zelma. “It’s been always clean, there’s no illegal activity on the premises or around the premises during the operating hours, whatever they believe they found is outside the shop and we do not have any information about it.”

Owners say they run a legitimate business and every item taken into the store is recorded.

Contacted Thursday afternoon, Lancaster Station Spokesman, Michael Rust said the department had followed correct procedure and a valid search warrant had been served at the Trade Post Pawn Shop.

“He has a signed by the judge copy of the warrant in his possession,” Rust said. “They were given copies of the warrant when the warrant was served.”

Rust said deputies seized two hand guns from inside the store’s safe and a shotgun that was mounted on the wall, because during business hours the guns were underneath the counter area for personal protection, and two of the store’s employees were convicted felons.

“The owner of the Trading Post did not have the weapons secured, and the felons had easy access and admitted to having access to those weapons,” Rust said. “That’s why the weapons were taken, and he will get the weapons back as soon as the case is adjudicated.”

Rust said the store’s owners were given “all the paperwork they were entitled to” regarding the confiscated weapons.

Additionally, Rust said deputies late Thursday morning had busted Trading Post employee, Randel Sagraves again, after finding a storage unit in his name that was filled with drugs.

“He has been re-arrested back at the Trading Post, so he is back in custody under a new fresh charge,” Rust said. (Read more here.)

Rust said the owners of the Trading Post were not under investigation and had not been accused of any wrongdoing.

An employee was re-arrested at the store Thursday.

“It was the employees that were working there at the store, but there again, the store owners had full knowledge of the employees’ backgrounds,” Rust said. “He knew full well and he, in fact, hired them back when they got out of jail, that’s why we went back today (Thursday) and rearrested the one guy, because he had a storage locker full of dope.”

Contacted late Thursday, Kirzner continued to insist that he had not seen nor did he have a copy of the search warrant.

“I already said they did not show me anything!” he said. “I don’t want to fight with them, I just want my guns back.”

  12 comments for “Trading Post Pawn Shop owner: ‘There is no justice here!’

  1. chris
    July 20, 2012 at 4:25 am

    av sheriffs do meth! my homegirl smokes with one

    • Quigley
      July 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      So Chris, are you stupid???

  2. Tara
    February 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    okay, Damn I was there They did get a copy!! The owners are NOT being Charged or under investigation! They WILL get their guns back!! THE OWNERS ARE JUST TRYING TO SAVE FACE and their Rep. They know that their was some Shadiness goin on with their employees!!!! For REAL!!!….But they Pretend not to see it or know about it!! C’mon I bet a lot of people would try to lie and act innocent if they were in their situation trying to save face and make the cops look bad???/ wtf? I am GLAD they busted those SCUMBAG MAGGOTS!!! Good JOB BOYS!!( Lancaster Sheriff Dept) for getting them behind bars and NO more trading Drugs and Enabling Theft To OUR CHILDREN

    • Matt S
      February 27, 2012 at 8:54 am

      ohhhhh da childrennnnn! LOL Really lady. Your kids spend a lot of time in pawn shops? And you where there? You hang out on Sierra at 7am. Looking for customers? Or are you one of the sheriffs who didn’t show a warrant? And what do you know about what the owners knew? If they KNEW, like you’re claiming, why AREN’T they being charged? Sounds like a cop groupy or a cop trying to get us to believe the cops story.

      • Tara
        February 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

        you are an IGNORANT [removed] who was probably the biggest scumbag customer there….AWWW, what??,, They take your drug store away!? now where you going to take your stolen goods??.HUH! LOL….Maybe you should go to school to read! re read my original post idiot!…. And the children meaning ALL people who have Parents, Drugs Kill people and No DECENT parent of young or old kids want to see them on drugs. You are just a SCUMBAG MAGGOT YOURSELF!!!! and DECENT GOOD HEARTED HONEST PEOPLE of the community WOULD AGREE!!!!

        • Matt S
          February 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

          WOW! LOL. Sounds like you might be tweeking.

          So, were you there or weren’t you? Hit a nerve?

  3. jr
    February 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Another search warrant served. Yet nobody has a copy of it accept the sheriffs department. I wonder, is it possible that the sheriffs department is conducting these searches first without a search warrant and then get the search warrant after the fact. (OMG) What am I saying? They would never do that, THAT WOULDN’T BE BY THE BOOK and everyone knows, the one thing we do have in this fine city (Lancaster) are sheriff deputies who only do things by the book. Nope we certainly don’t have dirty cops in this fine city.
    Let me tell you a story about our finest.
    Would you believe that I was pulled over by 6 sheriff cars, each with at least 2 deputies inside. I was handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car. I then had the privelage of watching them tear up (search)the inside of my car. They ripped the headliner down, the carpet was pulled up and cut in various places, the dash was broken, kick panels were broken and the motor for the power seat was ripped out. Mind you, I was not told why I had been pulled over or why my vehicle was being searched (destroyed inside)nor did I give permission for my vehicle to be searched.
    Well, to make a long story short, I was not arrested, I didn’t get a traffic ticket and I certainly didn’t get an apology. I did get an explanation as to why I had been pulled over. MY FRONT LICENSE PLATE WAS BENT. Go figure. I did file a complaint and was told by Officer Smith of the Lancaster station, that he would forward my complaint to the proper department since it was a special tast force (gang) up from Los Angeles. I have never heard from the Sheriffs department regarding my complaint and it’s been a little more than 2 years. To be honest I really consider myself lucky.


    Here in the Antelope Valley the Sheriffs department can do whatever they want and you are powerless to do anything about it. You can forget about having any kind of Civil Rights.

    • Jacky Johnson
      February 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      And the mayor’s just can’t understand why we need a civilian oversight panel. If nothing else, they could of followed through to make sure you got a form letter saying there was a internal investigation and the deputies involved did nothing wrong. The destruction of your car is just the price we got to pay for our freedoms. AV is worse then the back woods of Mississippi. “Sheep” is right. Wake up people. These guys ain’t our friends. At best, we just collateral damage.

    • Cleo
      February 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Jr…….aka conspiracy theory: First, the defense attorney of all those arrested will have a copy of the warrant,as well as the courthouse. Maybe they can hire high profile attorneys like Amy K. Or Gustavo D. As for you being pulled over and “violated”, are you sure you’re not forgetting to mention your probation/parole status, or the cheech and chong cloud pouring out your drivers window??

  4. Jo
    February 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    This is interesting. More and more we hear about completely different stories not just from those on the receiving end of sheriff activity, but different sheriffs themselves. Like the Marine shot in San Clemente. At first it was the deputy feared for his life. Then after his superiors got hold of him, they made him change his statement to say he feared for the children. Doesn’t inspire confidence in their public statements.

  5. ChrisMan
    February 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Thats because the AVTIMES is an honest newspaper unlike the censored AVPress which will not publish anything without permission of Prince Rex.

  6. Matt S
    February 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    WOW. The other side of the story. I don’t ever think I’ve seen this before in the Antelope Valley. Wonder how long it’ll take before Rex and his gang to shut you down. Still I wonder if the AV Press has ever experienced the freedom of telling the “other side” of one of the local “super duper multi million biggest ever heroic” raid we always are being told about.

    There are some good things about not taking advertizing dollars. You can tell all sides. I really like that. Awesome

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