By the way the guy that said that pawn shops keeps stuff off the shelvs for a few weeks to make sure that thier owners don't turn up is a ABSOLUTLY true, and the guy that said big chains don't have anything to gain from this is wrong. Perhaps it doesn't say this on their corporate summary, but what they do serves the same purpose.
When you pawn something, they will give you a repiept for your good and also a timewindow for when you can come back and buy the good back. They don't just put it out immidiatly. Then if you don't come and buy your unit back for more then what they gave you in the first place, they put the unit on the market.
You see, this timeframe is pointless to the pawn shop as we all know that people that pawn goods usually never wan't them back. I did a report on this very subject for our local chamber of commerce when I was still in high school and this is the sad part of the pawn buisiness. They say they just have a a window for the person to claim their item back, but in fact there is a more sinester part to the wait.
As an owner, you can't and most ofter they won't let you go in there and ask, "Can you check in the back for a laptop,,,," THey will point you to the police and make you file a report. That they claim they get and stop sale of any product with a matching descriotion in the report via computer. However the most common number they use is the model number and serial number, and if the fool behind the counter at the pawn shop or the police for that matter entered your service tag instead,.. that serial would never come up.
All best of luck for you finding you laptop, but If I were you, I would start looking for a new one.