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Woman accused of pawning stolen items

A Rochester woman faces a felony charge after allegedly pawning jewelry stolen from houses in three western Minnesota counties.

Emma Shea Byrne, 19, identified in court documents as being homeless and living in Rochester, has been charged with receiving stolen property after items she either pawned or had in her possession were linked to burglaries in Grant, Pope and Douglas counties.

Authorities in western Minnesota got their first tip in the case Nov. 30 from Byrne's father in Maryland. He had called the owners of passports he found, along with jewelry and pawn slips, in a bag of his daughter's, he told authorities, and discovered the passport owners were victims of a residential burglary a couple of weeks earlier in Pope County.

A Grant County sheriff's deputy called Rochester police because Byrne's last known address was in Rochester.

Rochester police checked an electronic database that tracks pawn transactions and found that Byrne and a 25-year-old woman she knows had made several pawn transactions locally within the past two months, most of them for jewelry.


A Rochester police investigator went to Pawn America and National Pawn North. He photographed jewelry sold by Byrne and the other woman and also obtained video of the two completing pawn transactions at the stores, according to court documents.

A burglary victim in Grant County and at least one victim in Douglas County made positive identifications of jewelry Byrne and the other woman pawned in Rochester, including a $2,150 necklace and $750 earrings, according to court documents.

On Dec. 1, Rochester police learned that Byrne and the other woman had left a pawn shop that day in Onalaska, Wis., after a manager said he needed to check something on the woman's driver's license during a pawn transaction.

Police arrested Byrne on Sunday while she was at Pawn America in Rochester trying to pawn merchandise, according to court documents.

Byrne's next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 13. The other woman has not been charged.

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