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The Grinch that Stole Jackson

Cthulhu Fhtagn

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OK, so I hear from my son two days ago. He's in college in Athens, OH. Almost two years ago to the day, I bought from my favorite music store in Columbus, Ohio a Jackson Soloist Custom for my son for Christmas. And I do mean custom, Jenna Jamison holding the damned thing on the website, custom PUPS, paint the works.


So one of the local pipeheads bust into the apartment and steals the axe. Now, the fact that it had just snowed in Central Ohio that day and there were clearly footprints - one shoe was missing part of the sole - allowed my son find the guy quickly.


Alas, not quickly enough. The gutair was already sold. My son puts in a report with the local constubilary and reports it stolen. All the pawn shops are put on alert. Today, someone tries to pawn the damned thing, but since it's "hot" the shop wont take it. I would have gladly payed the ticket just to get the thing back. They have a photo of the guy who tried to pawn it, one of my son's friends is sure they recognized the guy and I was tight with some of the local cops and asked for some favors. I just hope everything turns out OK.


I realise this is a time for goodwill and joy to the world and all that crap, as this will be the Christmas my son's guitars and amps (and the game system and computer) were stolen, going along with last Christmas as the Chirstmas I was out of work.


Anyone else out there with a Non-Hallmark moment?


Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn


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Back when I was a newspaper reporter, working on Christmas Day, I had to write a story about someone who broke into an apartment on Christmas Eve and stole all the presents from under the tree.


Nice, huh?

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Here\'s a link to a great success story about recovered equipment.


And I've mentioned that I recovered my stolen Warwick off of eBay, but I'm not sure I've ever told the story:


I played a week production of "The Wiz" that ended on a Sunday evening. I put my bass and GK Microbass amp in the back of my Escort station wagon.


Monday, I went to school as usual, not thinking too much about the gear, since I park in a controlled teacher lot with video surveillance. I did think the car was locked, but evidently, it wasn't.


I stayed late after school that day to help Kelsey, a young bassist. On the way to the car, I greeted our janitor walking in from the parking lot.


I was almost home when I discovered my loss. I called the cops, and they had me drive back across the city line to take a police report.


And I had lost the serial numbers to the missing gear, although I was able to give an excellent description. They assured me that stuff burgled from a car is almost never recovered.


Next day, I told the school. We reviewed the videotape, but they had forgotten to replace the tape for 6 months, and it had stretched...recording only static. We put out Crimestopper reports, and the VP interviewed several kids. No dice.


I bought another bass to tide me over and reported the loss to the insurance company. I didn't file a claim at that time. My Warwick is unusual, in fact I was unable to find one exactly like it anywhere for sale on the Web. I frequented pawn shops (actually went in to the shop where the bass had been pawned several times, but they played dumb.)


After 3 months, I decided to file a claim and replace my gear with something. I received a call on a Saturday and spent about an hour on the phone with the adjuster.



Then I went on ebay (where I had looked dozens of times) and found MY bass. Being sold by an independent dealer about 10 miles from home.


I contacted eBay, and they gave me the address of a special website that only police can access to stop the sale and deal with recovery. By Monday morning, I had spent some time with a detective, a young guy. This was his first case. Even though I didn't have the serial number, I did have several very good pictures. The bass is natural wood, and has grain and knotting defects. We compared pictures of mine and the one I printed off of eBay. The detective agreed to proceed.


2 days later nothing had happened, and the bidding on my bass was approaching the "Buy it Now" price. At that point, my co-worker bid on the bass, exceeding the "Buy it Now" limit and guaranteeing that the auction would last the entire week.


Finally, I got the call from the cops...they had found my bass, but the dealer had $600 in it and wanted compensation. He and I talked, and we agreed on a couple hundred in cash and an old Aria. (I could have had it seized, where it would spend 5 months in the property room awaiting a hearing...I didn't want to risk damage.)


The dealer told me the story...he had purchased it in the parking lot of a pawn shop where he does a lot of business. The owners had accepted the bass as a pawn, but they wouldn't buy it. They suspected it was hot...and they called this dealer and put him in direct contact with the thief. The thief had actually signed a receipt to the dealer, and had left a copy of his license at the shop.


I went to the school and asked if we had a student named "Waymon B." They said, "That's our janitor's name." The principal obtained all the documents fromt he pawn shop, reported it to the cops and school investigations. They contacted him by telephone to come in for an interview, but when he found out what it was about, he just walked out. Nobody's ever heard from him since.


I saved my insurance company a couple of thousand dollars, and they did accept the claim on the other gear in my gig bag and amplifier. I got a new GK replacement.


And I'm much more careful now. And I have the serial number memorized.


Long winded, I know...but you can get your Jackson back I hope.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.


Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Sorry to hear this Social Critic. I hope it all turns out fine.


For all readers:


Rule #1: Don´t ever buy items that you suspect can be stolen. If you do, you will keep the thieves in business. You might cut a "great deal", but the next day the same guys can be breaking into your home.


Rule #2: On second hand deals, always claim a receipt with the sellers name, address and more info if possible, as well as the serial of the item purchased. Same routine when you sell.

What ever...
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One Christmas night I came home with my dad from the hospital and discovered our home was burglarized. I lost two instruments, a TV set, a boom box and $300 in cash which I foolishly left on the dresser top. As my dad was covered by homeowner's insurance I was able to recoup 80% of the value of what I'd lost, but I still double-check the windows and doors every time I leave the house or car.
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I have a 3-page list of music/video/studio gear that I was divested of a few years ago. That doesn't include any household items or tools or furniture. Of that maybe 1/20th was recovered, value-wise.


Now I average maybe $50 a quarter in restitution checks. Unless the guy is behind - since he was part of a theft ring that did this in three states to the tune of millions of dollars, he owes a lot to a lot of people.


Should have me payed off in about 200 years unless he leaves the state and gets a new identity.

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It's a shame we don't deal with theives the old fashioned way here in America. There is nothing worse!

Good luck to the kid S.C.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76


I have nothing nice to say so . . .


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DBB - I would have never thought of that. My son's stuff is VERY unique and shouldn't be a problem spotting on e-Bay. I'll keep an eye out and clue him in.


Swede - any and all gear can be stolen. I don't think the pipehead that lifted my son's gear would have known the difference between my son's Soloist and a Galveston Tele knock-off. We had, two weeks ago, talked about sending the high end stuff to me for safe keeping, but he was still recording and needed the axe.


Mutt - too bad we don't deal with them in the current fashion in Saudi Arabia.


Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn


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I know someone who had 2 nice basses stolen from his home. Found them not too long after on eBay. I he arranged to meet the guy who as selling them. Brought his police report, checked serial numbers and got his basses back. The guy who was ebaying them was hit up by the folks who stole the basses at Sam Ash by other customers to buy the stuff. My friend payed the guy back what he paid for the stuff from the theiefs. Sadly because everything was done at Sam Ash or truly through Sam Ash, no phone numbers were ever exchanged. I believe one bass as a Fender Jazz Relic, and the other was some Gibson. They weren't hard to spot.

Mike Bear




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