Chicago Pawn Shop Owner Sees Flood Of Federal Employees Amid Shutdown

Chicago pawn shop owner Randy Cohen says 10 to 20 federal employees have been coming in every day in order to keep paying their bills amid the partial government shutdown, reports CBS Chicago

Over 45,000 Illinois federal employees received $0 paychecks last Friday, forcing one worker to pawn off his prized van. 

"Oh he loves this thing. You should’ve heard what he put into it. He put a satellite TV, a sound system and a sunroof back there," said Cohen, who sold it for $6,500.

Cohen agrees to hold onto the items for 60 days. He says he assigns a lower interest rate when he hears shutdown stories.

“I feel sorry for them,” he said. “Listen, they got to pay their mortgage. They got to pay a car payment.”

It’s probably stuff people saved, one worker said.

“For a rainy day,” Cohen said. “And it’s raining for them. Think about it. Thank God they had stuff like this.” -CBS Chicago

Cohen's pawn shop is located right next to a US Citizen and Immigration Services building, a FEMA office, and across the street from a federal corrections center downtown, so there is no shortage of customers.