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Stolen Guitar Turns Up On A Dealer Website

Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Hey everyone, I am seeking advice about what to do about a guitar I had that
stolen or converted while at a guitar store several years ago. Basically, I left a guitar
at a shop for a minor fretboard mod. While it was at the guitar store the owner or one of
his employees stole or sold the guitar. The guitar store went bust and closed and its entire inventory
was sold off or transferred. (I was told several stories by the store.) The guitar is very unique
and has my name engraved on the headstock truss rod cover. I had also put my initials on in an
undisclosed location. I had ordered and purchased the guitar when I was 22.
Recently, the guitar showed up on the website of a guitar dealer. In fact the dealer contacted me
about the guitar himself. (Hence I am not disclosing details about the dealer)
However, when I contacted the dealer and discussed the fact that the guitar was stolen he requested a
police report. I sent him the police report. The two days later he told me he had sent the guitar back to
the alleged owner who had asked him to sell it on consignment. Is there any chance I will ever see my guitar again?
Any suggestions as to what to do now?
http://s1040.photobucket.com/user/an...tml?sort=3&o=0
 
Last edited:

kidmo

New member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
154
Go back to the police with this new information and let them follow up.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Go back to the police with this new information and let them follow up.

Thanks Kidmo, I wanted to give the dealer the opportunity to do the right thing which
to my understanding of the law is to hold the guitar or turn it over to the police as
he was fully noticed that the property in his possession was stolen. The dealer wouldn't reveal any information about the alleged owner and whether he had properly verified who had title to the guitar. Perhaps that is why he reached out to me?
My understanding of the law is once you (dealer) are put on notice that the property in question is stolen:
"A person commits the crime of receiving stolen property if he intentionally receives, retains or disposes of stolen property knowing that it has been stolen or having reasonable grounds to believe it has been stolen, unless the property is received, retained or disposed of with intent to restore it to the owner"
I think its a B Felony if the value of the item is over $5,000.00. I don't want to say what I have done
specifically other than to agree with your advice.
 

chasenblues

New member
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
1,228
Just throwing this out there..

Depending on where you may live(state/country) wouldn't the amount of time(Statute of limitations) between when your guitar was stolen and when this dealer contacted you have an effect on whether the police maybe able to do anything about either A) the dealer or B) getting the guitar back?




"when I contacted the dealer and discussed the fact that the guitar was stolen he requested a
police report. I sent him the police report. The two days later he told me he had sent the guitar back to
the alleged owner who had asked him to sell it on consignment"


Something smell's real bad about the way he handled this..

Hope you get your guitar back some how.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Just throwing this out there..

Depending on where you may live(state/country) wouldn't the amount of time(Statute of limitations) between when your guitar was stolen and when this dealer contacted you have an effect on whether the police maybe able to do anything about either A) the dealer or B) getting the guitar back?




"when I contacted the dealer and discussed the fact that the guitar was stolen he requested a
police report. I sent him the police report. The two days later he told me he had sent the guitar back to
the alleged owner who had asked him to sell it on consignment"


Something smell's real bad about the way he handled this..

Hope you get your guitar back some how.

Thats a good point Chasen which I thought about when it took years for the guitar to resurface! However, again I could be wrong, the date of
discovery controls the statute date. Since I discovered the guitar about a week ago I think the statute starts to run now. Otherwise, think about it, you could steal someone's 59 Les Paul, hide it and wait 5 years and then try to sell it around town claiming the statute had run. What might be of some significance is whether the "mystery" unnamed owner bought my guitar in good faith, i.e., believing that the seller had good title to it. Remember if you are a "dealer" you are held to a somewhat higher standard of verifying the history of the property. You can't just take a stolen guitar in your shop and say you didn't know any better. Not that that doesn't happen. But in this case the dealer had the stolen property report in his hands.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Thats a good point Chasen which I thought about when it took years for the guitar to resurface! However, again I could be wrong, the date of
discovery controls the statute date. Since I discovered the guitar about a week ago I think the statute starts to run now. Otherwise, think about it, you could steal someone's 59 Les Paul, hide it and wait 5 years and then try to sell it around town claiming the statute had run. What might be of some significance is whether the "mystery" unnamed owner bought my guitar in good faith, i.e., believing that the seller had good title to it. Remember if you are a "dealer" you are held to a somewhat higher standard of verifying the history of the property. You can't just take a stolen guitar in your shop and say you didn't know any better. Not that that doesn't happen. But in this case the dealer had the stolen property report in his hands.

You know one other thing is that before I contacted the dealer I checked around a little about his reputation.
I was told that he was reputable and again the dealer reached out to me first so I really thought he
would do the right thing. I really thought he was checking the history of the guitar ( as you should if you are a dealer)
and would protect himself and me. Instead he protected the mystery owner! I know nothing about how the dealer got the guitar other
than there was a mystery owner who given him the guitar on consignment. He told me nothing and presented me with no documentation.
 

FretsAlot

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
931
You probably are already doing this... keep meticulous notes of dates, times, names, etc of any events around this. You may need them later.

Good luck... I loathe thievery!

Fretsalot/Scott
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
You probably are already doing this... keep meticulous notes of dates, times, names, etc of any events around this. You may need them later.

Good luck... I loathe thievery!

Fretsalot/Scott
Yes I have but thank you. I am heartbroken over this.
 

kidmo

New member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
154
. Instead he protected the mystery owner! I know nothing about how the dealer got the guitar other than there was a mystery owner who given him the guitar on consignment. He told me nothing and presented me with no documentation.

Again, this is why I said take it to the police, they can get the answers from the dealer that you can't. Good luck with this, it must be very frustrating to know it was so close
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,313
Once you supplied the police report, the dealer should have kept the guitar and contacted the police. NOT RETURN IT to the person selling it. WTF!!! There is a protocol in these situations!

RAISE SOME HELL!
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Once you supplied the police report, the dealer should have kept the guitar and contacted the police. NOT RETURN IT to the person selling it. WTF!!! There is a protocol in these situations!

RAISE SOME HELL!

Thanks Big Al
You are right and this dealer and I had a heated disagreement about him doing what he did but I couldn't stop him cause he was 1700 miles away from where I live.
He also said that he did a lot of business with the mystery owner and he didn't want to screw that up and also the guys legal representative would contact me which means nothing really.
But one thing for sure, he claims he knows the guy he was dealing with and there are steps that can be taken. Police, civil suit, etc. I don't want to smear this guys reputation
but I am really upset that he secreted the guitar.
To be honest I have contacted the police and sent out the stolen property report. The police told me they are investigating the dealer
and if it turns out that he did send the guitar as he stated in emails then he may be in trouble not just state wise but federal wise if the guitar was transported across state lines and is worth more than 5K. Parenthetically, he was advertising the guitar for way more than that.
 

BlueAlnico

Les Paul Froum Member
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
136
I can't believe a reputable dealer would act in such a wily manner.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
I can't believe a reputable dealer would act in such a wily manner.

Thanks Blue
Well the other dealer was very well known for being a creep but I had dealt with him for years and never had a problem.
I took my lumps and quietly sought out the guitar. I knew if I broadcasted it all over the place I would never see the guitar.
I waited for 3 years after in 2012 an employee at the store told me the guitar was officially not at the store where it went missing.
I contacted various dealers of the type of guitar I lost and also contacted and
discussed the guitar with the head of the international owners group.
I never thought this dealer would do what he did but you learn something new everyday. I made a mistake in trusting in
this guy's reputation. What's really funny is he kept bad-mouthing the dealer I had left the guitar with and then he goes
and conceals the guitar. Serves me right for believing this guy's BS.
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,123
I don't want to smear this guys reputation ...

Fuck him. I don't give a shit who he is. His reputation just took a huge dump when he handed your guitar back to the "mystery man"

Legally, that makes him an acomplis, and a piece of shit.
 

duaneflowers

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Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,522
Fuck him. I don't give a shit who he is. His reputation just took a huge dump when he handed your guitar back to the "mystery man"

Legally, that makes him an acomplis, and a piece of shit.

I agree. You are not dealing with a reputable dealer, the guy is a scumbag who is now an accomplis... you will want the police involved as soon as possible.

I'm curious as to why the dealer contacted you in the first palce. :hmm
 
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Messages
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I agree. You are not dealing with a reputable dealer, the guy is a scumbag who is now an accomplis... you will want the police involved as soon as possible.

I'm curious as to why the dealer contacted you in the first palce. :hmm

Well thats funny too, because this forum had something to do with it. I won't say how exactly but he claimed he learned of my connection to the guitar
through this forum. I put my real name here. I don't hide who I am and then attack people from behind a computer screen.
 

Wilko

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Messages
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there is no reason not to out this guy. Is there honor in letting him screw you over?

Did he save your life or something?

Something ain't right.
 

duaneflowers

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Aug 13, 2013
Messages
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He will have to give up the name to the police anyway... unless he is a lawyer, journalist or priest I don't believe there is any type of confidentiality he is entitled to in regard to stolen goods... so all will out (as they say). If he is a member here you might want to contact Mike or Charlie directly with the deets... they might not be able to do anything about it... but then again they might. If you don't want to out him here (for whatever reasons) they might can help.
 
Joined
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Messages
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there is no reason not to out this guy. Is there honor in letting him screw you over?

Did he save your life or something?

Something ain't right.

Wilko I understand and from a personal and moral position I agree but this is his business I would be attacking and
I want to see first if the mystery owner contacts me. Plus I have already gone to the police and they
are involved. Frankly, I am adverse to saying anything about who he is from a legal standpoint.
There may be a civil lawsuit here so its best to wait and see but thanks for the moral support.
 

duaneflowers

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Messages
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Charlie would be the goto guy then... I'm led to believe he knows something about legal matters such as confidentiality, responsibility and culpability... and I'm also led to believe he knows a bit about guitars and what goes on around here as well. :laugh2:
 
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