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Stolen Guitar Turns Up On A Dealer Website

Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
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.

Thanks Duane and you are right there is no confidentiality among thieves for criminal acts. I will reach out to the guys you mentioned.
Maybe just maybe, this guy really thought he was doing right thing but I can't see how unless I do hear from the mystery owners lawyer.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Thanks Duane and you are right there is no confidentiality among thieves for criminal acts. I will reach out to the guys you mentioned.
Maybe just maybe, this guy really thought he was doing right thing but I can't see how unless I do hear from the mystery owners lawyer.

I want to add that I really appreciate all the support and kindness that you guys have shown. You guys know and understand how these guitars become a part of
your life. Its not just a piece of wood and metal. To lose one that you have had your whole life bothers you all the time. Just thanks to everyone.
 

duaneflowers

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,522
More than likely he just didn't want to be involved. But by revealing that he had the guitar and then returning it after learning it was stolen (if that really is all there is to it) he became involved whether he wanted to or not. I agree that where a guy's livelihood is on the line you need to tread lightly... but if it turns out he did break the law and cover for a guitar thief then perhaps he is in the wrong line of work... :hmm
 

MapleFlame

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
14,034
What baffles me, why wouldn't the consigner not want to give the guitar back once he knew it was stolen. Serious qustion mark there. The dealer is a moron if he thinks he will get off scoff free. Eventually it will get out who it is. The consigner must do big dollar business with him. I wonder how many hands the guitar went through prior to current person???
 

duaneflowers

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Messages
2,522
Good question! By their actions these guys have proven themselves to be highly questionable. I really hope RR gets his guitar back!
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
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.

I have never heard "statute of limitations" described like this. :hmm
It's not that simple where I live [Missouri].

When was this stolen and in what state?
When was it "discovered" and in what state?
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,215
What baffles me, why wouldn't the consigner not want to give the guitar back once he knew it was stolen. Serious qustion mark there. The dealer is a moron if he thinks he will get off scoff free. Eventually it will get out who it is. The consigner must do big dollar business with him. I wonder how many hands the guitar went through prior to current person???

Why wouldn't he? Because he bought the guitar, either in good faith that it was free and clear, or directly from the crook dealer - thereby knowing it was stolen or at least questionable ownership.
In the first case, he has a lot of money in this thing that he won't have a chance of getting back if he just sends Richard the guitar. If he hangs onto it for the moment, when the police come to him, he can show his documentation, and perhaps get something back.
If the second, he's still liable for receiving stolen property.
IN either case, maybe he's just not thinking this through, and still wants "his" guitar, and hoping that the dealer (current one) will keep their mouth shut. I also wonder if the current dealer / repair shop mentioned that the guitar might be stolen, and if not, he just took it back as a regular transaction.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Why wouldn't he? Because he bought the guitar, either in good faith that it was free and clear, or directly from the crook dealer - thereby knowing it was stolen or at least questionable ownership.
In the first case, he has a lot of money in this thing that he won't have a chance of getting back if he just sends Richard the guitar. If he hangs onto it for the moment, when the police come to him, he can show his documentation, and perhaps get something back.
If the second, he's still liable for receiving stolen property.
IN either case, maybe he's just not thinking this through, and still wants "his" guitar, and hoping that the dealer (current one) will keep their mouth shut. I also wonder if the current dealer / repair shop mentioned that the guitar might be stolen, and if not, he just took it back as a regular transaction.

Hi Guys! I was away this weekend looking at a 69 Les Paul Custom. Anyway, just for more clarity on this thing. I told the Dealer that
I was wiling to pay the mystery owner what he paid for the guitar when he "bought" it from whomever it was he bought it from.
My hope was to just get the guitar back. I am still hoping that will happen although at this point I haven't anything from the
mystery owner's lawyer. Hoping and waiting.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,316
Contact the Bunco Dept at the police station.

Now that the guitar is KNOWN as stolen goods the mystery buyer has no claim. The dealer who returned it to the buy is now complicit in trafficking in stolen goods as he returned it to the consigner after proof of ownership was established. I would go after him HARD!

I've had some guitars and amps stolen that I would very much like to get back, I get it.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Contact the Bunco Dept at the police station.

Now that the guitar is KNOWN as stolen goods the mystery buyer has no claim. The dealer who returned it to the buy is now complicit in trafficking in stolen goods as he returned it to the consigner after proof of ownership was established. I would go after him HARD!

I've had some guitars and amps stolen that I would very much like to get back, I get it.

Al,
I have called the Sheriff's office again today to speak to the investigator and I left a message.
One thing you have to understand is that to most police departments this sort of stuff just
isn't that important. Its not that they don't care its just they have bigger headaches to take care of.
What I should have done is fly down South to the guy's hometown and gone first to the PD with the stolen
property report and then tried to find where this guy's base of operations was located. I am a dummy.
I just really thought this guy would do the right thing. We'll see.
 

WBailey

Active member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
1,131
Al,
I have called the Sheriff's office again today to speak to the investigator and I left a message.
One thing you have to understand is that to most police departments this sort of stuff just
isn't that important. Its not that they don't care its just they have bigger headaches to take care of.
What I should have done is fly down South to the guy's hometown and gone first to the PD with the stolen
property report and then tried to find where this guy's base of operations was located. I am a dummy.
I just really thought this guy would do the right thing. We'll see.

I once received a counterfeit postal money order ( $1000.00 ) so I called the FBI, who politely said;

" Yeah, we get about a thousand of those a day, just hang on to it " :bigal
 

j45

New member
Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
9,081
I understand you are trying to do things "right", or in a nice, civil manner but in my experience you will never get results that you would be simply exposing the truth about who it is that did business this way. In most cases like this, legal action is a complete joke.... and if the dealer was going to do "right thing", he would have already... he has no reason to unless his rep is on the line....which at this point, it is not...The clout this forum has will most certainly start the ball rolling in a new direction and should get results much quicker than the avenues you are taking.... which probably will not happen at all. Your guitar was STOLEN, it appears the dealer may be an accessory to the crime and regardless, he most certainly knows the location of YOUR guitar..... ...just put the truth out as you best know it where it really counts and let it play out. I don't think many people here would do it much differently or criticize you for doing so. The guitar community will be the only ones who can relate or even care... ...and if the truth is as you tell it, the repercussions the dealer will endure once named will be much more serious than anything he has to worry about as things are happening now... which seems to nothing... and until his personal rep is involved, he probably could care less..
 
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Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,316
The person who has it now, knowing it is stolen, should contact the police and give over the guitar. He is then free to pursue the person who sold him the guitar for recovery of funds paid. If any of this happened by crossing state lines it becomes a Federal case.

BE AGGRESSIVE! Don't roll over.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
I understand you are trying to do things "right", or in a nice, civil manner but in my experience you will never get results that you would be simply exposing the truth about who it is that did business this way. In most cases like this, legal action is a complete joke.... and if the dealer was going to do "right thing", he would have already... he has no reason to unless his rep is on the line....which at this point, it is not...The clout this forum has will most certainly start the ball rolling in a new direction and should get results much quicker than the avenues you are taking.... which probably will not happen at all. Your guitar was STOLEN, it appears the dealer may be an accessory to the crime and regardless, he most certainly knows the location of YOUR guitar..... ...just put the truth out as you best know it where it really counts and let it play out. I don't think many people here would do it much differently or criticize you for doing so. The guitar community will be the only ones who can relate or even care... ...and if the truth is as you tell it, the repercussions the dealer will endure once named will be much more serious than anything he has to worry about as things are happening now... which seems to nothing... and until his personal rep is involved, he probably could care less..


Thanks and I think what I will do is wait until Friday and reach out to the dealer one more time. If I hear nothing by Friday I think I will just name the dealer. I really don't know what else to do other than start a lawsuit in his state down south or try to start one here in NY. What is annoying is that I answered all kinds of questions for the guy for over an hour and then he says "Well wait let's see if we can work this out" and boom 10:30 PM the next day I get an email saying the guitar was shipped back to mystery owner.
 

troyvod

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
113
i would email the dealer now, tell him how disappointed you are with the way this has progressed. Then tell him he has 24 hours to pass on the current owners details or you will name and shame.
 

TheArchitect

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
486
Do you actually want this guitar back? You almost seem to be looking for ways to make sure it doesn't happen
 

BlueAlnico

Les Paul Froum Member
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
136
If a dealer knew where my stolen guitar was I would be on the next available plane and be on his doorstep with the local Sherrifs dept when he opens for business.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
Do you actually want this guitar back? You almost seem to be looking for ways to make sure it doesn't happen

Architect
I am trying to legally and correctly do the right thing. I sent the guy the stolen property report. I have reached out to the police departments of Las Vegas and Alabama. I have sent Alabama a copy of the stolen property report. I have contacted guitar shops across the country. As an example I was on the phone with a dealer in Ohio only two weeks ago asking him to be on the lookout for the guitar. I have contacted the Owners Club. Unfortunately this dealer is 1700 miles away from me and i only learned he had the guitar last week. Family and business commitments kept me from getting on a plane and flying down to his state. I have no idea where his shop is anyway! I asked the Alabama authorities to please get just the name of the mystery owner. I just spoke to the detective an hour ago at the Alabama sheriff's office and went through the whole thing. He hasn't spoken to the dealer yet and is waiting to hear from the Las Vegas Metro PD. If I am not doing enough please tell me what else I should be doing. Look I guess it doesn't matter now because the guy who has it knows that it was stolen. The guitar is a 1982/3 Zemaitis Metalfront with my name "Richard Andrew Russell" on the headstock truss rod cover. I have all the correspondence with Tony Zemaitis from when I ordered the guitar in 1982. I received it in early 1983. I have the box and the customs check I paid at JFK airport. If you guys see it out there let me know.
 
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Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,127
You know police don't care about this stuff.

Truss rod cover? that's now gone.



Social media is one of the strongest tools you have. If I were you I'd use it now.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2001
Messages
330
You know police don't care about this stuff.

Truss rod cover? that's now gone.



Social media is one of the strongest tools you have. If I were you I'd use it now.

Wilko I know. It's God Awful. But as far as the guitar goes it has several unique features
which cannot be changed without seriously degrading the value. Particularly the metal
face plate engraving and the neck and fretboard. Each of Tony's guitars were unique so
unless the guy who has it wants to hack the guitar up it can't just be sold. I am gonna
post pictures soon. I am waiting to hear back from Keith Smart at the Zemaitis owners club.
He thinks he may have posted a notice about the guitar being stolen in his magazine back
4 years ago.
http://s1040.photobucket.com/user/an...tml?sort=3&o=0
 
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