Stolen $25,000 Les Paul Recovered with the Help of Social Media
Social media is making it harder for thieves to keep their loot, case in point is the recovery of a $25,000 (AUD) Les Paul that was stolen from a guitar store.
Stolen 1930s Gibson Recovered
The story of the robbery went viral after Melbourne music shop Sky Music reported it on Facebook. This resulted in large numbers of people looking for the stolen guitar, and ultimately led to the guitar's retrieval just 32 hours after the robbery.
The guitar in question is a Gibson "50th Anniversary of Marshall" Les Paul Goldtop, a premium hand-made instrument that comes with an equally premium tag price. The store manager tells us that Gibson built only 50 of them.
The prized guitar was peacefully hanging from 16 feet high in the store, so the theft was quite a feat. It seems that while the staff were distracted, the thief took the guitar out from its high position, placed it in a case and walked out of the store.
Henry Dalkin, store manager of Sky Music, reviewed the CCTV footage when he realized that the guitar was missing. He then decided to share the story of the theft and included the image of a person whom he believed could help in retrieving the guitar. A few hours later, Sky Music's Facebook page was filled with messages of support, with over 1000 people sharing the story on their own walls. It is said that over 200,000 people had viewed the post.
Next to step in was local media outlets, Dalkin was invited to discuss the details of the missing guitar on ABC 774's morning program with Jon Faine. This extended their reach even more in their quest to find the stolen guitar.
Happy with the support they were getting, Dalkin posted on their Facebook page, "Big thanks to Jon Faine and the 774 ABC crew for having us on the program this morning, it's brilliant to see such support out there following yesterday's events...It's a reminder the vast majority of the community are great people who always want to lend a hand if they can. Thank you again also to everyone who shared our post and offered messages of support, hopefully we're close to getting this prized guitar back!"
As more and more people show their support to Sky Music, the store manager finally had an interesting lead. He posted: "UPDATE: I've had a lot of helpful phone calls and messages this morning and I'm positive we're a step closer to solving the mystery. Thank you for all your support so far, and if anyone has extra info please get in touch."
Dalkin worked with the Police and they found the evidence compelling enough to start the process of obtaining a search warrant. However, Dalkin had a hunch that the collectible guitar would have already been moved so he decided to reach out to the man identified from his Facebook post for help.
The story goes that the Dalkin finally got hold of the mysterious man, they exchanged messages and phone calls, and was finally persuaded to help in retrieving the guitar. These conversations then led to the guitar being anonymously dropped off out the front of Sky Music.
Henry Dalken concluded with this post: "I'm very happy to announce I have the now rather famous missing Gibson Les Paul guitar back in store at Sky Music! I want to extend a massive thank you to everyone who shared our initial post about the missing guitar, support like that is massively appreciated and never forgotten. I'd also like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that the individual who's photo we shared was very helpful once I managed to get in contact with him (thanks to a few extra helpful Facebook users!) and once he was brought up to speed with the situation that I thought he could help with, he went out of his way to make sure I got my guitar back Thanks again folks! Henry Dalkin, General Manager"
Interestingly there was no mention of the thief being arrested. Mr Dalken made it clear to us, this morning when he answered our questions via email, that he's not angry with the person who took the guitar, he just seems happy to have such a rare instrument back.
One of their Facebook fans asked if the Les Paul Goldtop is now discounted because it already left the store, Sky Music's responses was: "I was kinda thinkin [sic] about asking for double because of the great story that now comes with it." The saga closes with the Gibson 50th Anniversary of Marshall Les Paul Goldtop coming with an interesting story for the future owner.
Check out the full story at Sky Music.
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