Stolen Instruments

Stolen Instruments

Surely a few members have had an instrument ripped off. I was wondering if they would like to talk about it. Twice I’ve had to go home empty handed after a night of music. The first time I got my guitar back the next day; an *innocent mistake* had been made. The second time it was stolen and I never saw it again. Kate

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I will finally de-lurk here and offer a few thoughts. Fortunately, I have not had any instruments stolen, but I know people who have. I suspect that Kevin Crawford might eventually get his flute back. These one of kind instruments have a way of finding their way home. A few years ago someone stole Beth Patterson’s Stephen Owsley Smith bouzouki. It was a fantastic instrument both beautiful to look at and the sound was magnificent. It finally turned up when someone posted a message to the cittern list asking about the value of an instrument someone was trying to sell him and describing Beth’s beloved bouzouki. I know someone else who had an SOS bouzouki stolen and it also found its way home.

There is a famous story about a Stradivarius violin that was stolen from a famous violinist (can’t remember who) many years ago. The thief worked at the concert hall. He kept it for years and used it to play gypsy music in restaurants. He confessed to his wife on his deathbed. The original owner was long dead, but there is another well known classical violinist (again I can’t remember who) who now owns this wonderful fiddle.

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Welcome out of lurkhood, John. I also know of a SOS bouzouki that was stolen and later came home not much worse for the wear. Hm. 🙂

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My first electric guitar was stolen a number of years ago. It was just an Ibanez that I’d had for years, that I’d torn out the guts of and rebuilt a few times until I got it the way I liked it. Probably whoever came in through my apartment window sold it for twenty bucks or so, or traded it for a fix, but I’ll never see it again. Since then I’ve retained a record of serial numbers and descriptions of my instruments, and have them marked in non-obvious places so if they turn up I can at least have a chance or recovery.
It’s a drag when it happens, but there’s really nothing much you can do beyond contacting the police and the pawnshops and be careful where you leave your gear.

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my bike was stolen once, an I got it back. I was on the street car in Toronto and i saw a guy ride by the window on my bike. I jumped off the streetcar, chased him, and grabbed the bike by the seat post…..woops, u said instruments

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It’s bad enough to lose an instrument but it’s even more aggravating when you know your treasure won’t be much use to the thief.

A friend had her viola da gamba stolen from the office of a well-heeled inner city church while she was at choir practice. (The thief ignored 16 singers’ worth of handbags/backpacks/purses and a high-quality, portable stereo.) Now there wouldn’t be more than about 20 gamba players in the whole of NSW (amateurs, professionals, the lot) and in Oz you buy gambas from makers or from other players – you *never* see them offered for sale outside specialist circles. Not only that but it was a Matthew Bolliger student viol and a 7-string bass - 7-string basses are rare , a MB student viol is recognisable as such at 500 paces, they’re made cheaply so don’t have high resale value, and it might even be the only 7-string he ever made. Fred-In-The-Pub wouldn’t have a clue what it was and anyone who did know would instantly identify it as this girl’s viol. My cash-strapped friend lost more in income while she hunted out a replacement than the thief could ever have got for it.

But there are some happy endings. Another friend had a good viola stolen from her car boot in Newtown, reported it to the police, did the rounds of the pawn shops, etc and thought that was that. The police called her about three years later to say that the viola had just been found in its case and in perfect condition, on the footpath half a block from where it had been taken. (If it only it could talk!)

Fortunately (touch wood) it is not a trauma I’ve had to go through, yet.

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I used to play guitar until it was stolen. At the time I was devastated but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I started to play mandolin after that and then progressed on to the fiddle. So I would just like to thank the person who stole it.

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The worst story ever was at an Ulster Fleadh in Draperstown. A guitar player from Toome was walking downt he street when an old gent had a heart attack. he handed his guitar to a girl in the crowd and proceeded to give mouth to mouth and CPR to the guy haveing the attack.

When the first aiders arrived on the scene he looked up to find that the girl with his guitar had taken off with the instrument while he had been helping the sick guy. Can you BELIEVE it?

The thing was that although the guitar wasn’t the greatest instrument in the world it held great sentimental value as he had been given it as a present while in jail on politically related charges by his brother who had died while he was in the nick.

It all had a happy ending however because the word was spread far and wide and there was never going to be the remotest possibility that the thief could sell it. It was handed in to a bar in the town almost 9 months later and returned to it’s rightful owner.

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Oh yeah - and there was the really bright spark that stole Mick Mc Goldrick’s LEFT HANDED pipes! Like they wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb? :~)

Again a happy ending with Mick getting them back.

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So many happy endings! I hope Kevin gets his flute back…what a horrible thing to go through…I can’t imagine someone walking off with my clarinet (and an easy one to sell since it’s one of the top of the line and most used types of clarinets out there). I’d be devastated! And even worse when it’s a rare instrument like that. Hopefully with so many people being aware of it, someone will hear of its being on the market and the thief will be nailed!

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Nice one Bernie!

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how did these instruments get stolen? If I had a good violin, I wouldn’t let it leave my sight! You’d have to mug me for it.

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