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Bin Laden killing windfall for pawnshop

May 8, 2011 at 3:18 PM   |   Comments

NORFOLK, Va., May 8 (UPI) -- The owner of a Virginia pawnshop says he was busy after word came last week that Osama bin Laden was dead, as gold prices briefly spiked and customers lined up.

"When I saw the news on TV Monday morning, I knew we'd be busy," said Nathan Segal, who opened Lynnhaven Pawn in Hampton Roads almost 30 years ago. "When I got to work, people were lined up outside ready to sell."

After the world's most-wanted terrorist was killed, gold shot up $50 an ounce, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday.

The bin Laden "gold rush" was brief, as prices fell again during the afternoon, the newspaper said.

Pawnshop owners are used to their business responding to external events, some global like bin Laden's death, some more personal, like divorce, death, unemployment-- and to the calendar, Segal said.

"We're at our emptiest just before holidays," he said. "People come in and pay the loan on grandma's china because family is coming to dinner and they don't want to be embarrassed. Then the next week, they bring it all back."

"Everything here has a story," Segal said.

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