Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Weird Crime Wednesday: The Midwest Guitar Bandits

As someone who once worked at a music store, I can tell you that theft is definitely an issue. Plenty of small items (picks, guitar strings, valve oil, tuners, etc) can easily fit in a thief's pocket.  Add into that the fact that the person behind the counter is often explaining to a mom or day why you can't simply glue a clarinet back together that has been broken in half, and store security isn't something that

Stealing an instrument, however, was something that you would assume could not be done with any degree of subtlety.  Most small instruments were kept in the back or inside of a case.  The larger instruments (like guitars, basses, drum sets, trombones, etc) were usually on display, but that was fine since it would be a bit difficult to lug one out of the store without someone noticing.

Your miniature french horns, however, were easy prey.

Unfortunately for music stores in the midwest, however, a band of thieves has found a successful way of stealing guitars: Shoving them down their pants.  You would think that this method would result in the criminals being quickly apprehended/embarrassed by the police, but after four successful robberies across three different states, they are still at large.  

The criminal masterminds' plan goes something like this:  

-Two men enter the store.

-One goes up to the clerk and distracts him (probably with completely subjective questions like "how hard is it to play guitar" or stupid philosophical conversations about music).

Sir, I assure you that I can "hear" Jimi Hendrix just fine

-While the store clerk speaks with the first man, the second takes the guitar, shoves it fret first down his pants, and covers the top with an over sized jacket.
-The two men leave the store one guitar richer.

Later, when the store clerks noticed that a guitar was missing from the display area and no one was butchering the opening chords to "Stairway to Heaven," they realized that they had been robbed.

Embedded below is a local news video on the matter, which helpfully includes cringe worthy puns about these crimes "striking a sour note" and "stringing" the criminals up.  Some random dude also gets his fifteen seconds of fame by playing a slightly out of tune guitar solo.

The men are still at large and have stolen thousands of dollars worth of equipment.  Police are asking for help identifying the men photographed below before they strike again...or try to sell more stolen guitars that are tainted with crotch sweat.

This criminal duo may not have been creative enough to come with a scheme that involves throwing poop on their victims, but their scheme is currently working like a charm....and causing a lot of midwestern music store owners to fret (I am so sorry, but I had to write that).