From Chicago Heights Dot Patch Dot Com
Old Pawn Shop Influences New Laws in The Heights
Shane’s has been around for more than 55 years, and the owners are still fighting for fair business practices.
By Aracely Hernandez | March 22, 2011
When looking for a good deal on a diamond or some other bling, Heights area residents head to Shane’s – The Pawn Shop located in the Wilson Plaza.
The business first opened in 1955 by Joseph Z. Schoeneman and his uncle Joe Schoeneman on the city’s east side. It’s been in the plaza for 22 years where it’s grown from one building unit to two – one features a showroom and the other is storage and a business office.
“We offer fantastic deals on jewelry compared to any other business in many miles,” David Schoeneman said. “We have a superior product knowledge and we can give [customers] a better purchase price.”
David Schoenman is Joseph Z. Schoeneman’s son. He and his wife, Carmencita, run the business.
Display cases are filled with rings, earrings, bracelets, watches, necklaces and other jewelery. The business does not take any other items.David is a gemologist and Carmencita also has an extensive knowledge of diamonds.
The store employs 13 people, Carmencita said. She runs the business behind the scenes and is working on creating a new Website for the store.
“It’s going to be colorful and bright and have information about us, pawn broking, our employees and pledge to our customers,” she said. “It will also feature coupons and other incentives.”
Shane’s can purchase an outdated necklace from customer looking to acquire extra cash, or provide a loan on the item. When a loan is taken out on a piece of jewelry, customers have up to 60 days to begin buying back the item or it is sold. It’s stopgap measure to help someone who needs a short-term loan, Carmencita said.
David said he is proud that he can provide that kind of help in the community. “It’s quick and it’s confidential,” he said.
But David doesn’t just help customers. The couple also represent pawnshops all over the state.
David is president of the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association, and Carmencita is the treasurer. The organization lobbies for pawnshops and also analyzes new laws that could affect pawnshops, Carmencita said.
Recently David helped Chicago Heights create a new law that is stricter about record keeping and inspection requirements. Now gold buying businesses have to wait seven days before they melt or sell gold after purchase. The law is called the Joseph Z. Schoeneman Precious Metal and Gem Brokers Ordinance – or informally the Schoeneman Gold Buying Law – named after David’s father.
On March 14 the City Council approved the ordinance and honored a 93-year-old Joseph for his longtime service to the Chicago Heights community. The law will aid police in tracking down items that may not have been acquired legally before being sold.
David said his father was happy about the honor, adding that he is proud to continue the work of his father and his great uncle in Chicago Heights. The fourth generation of Schoenemans, David and Carmencita’s sons, Jacob and Aaron, are also learning the trade and work at the shop during their breaks from school.
“It’s fun,” David said. “I get to help people. I earn a living and I get to feed my
family. We’re loyal to the community and it’s loyal to us.”
Shane’s – The Pawn Shop is located at 413 West 14th Street in Chicago Heights, and is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.