Close, but no guitar: stolen instrument caught in music store - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Close, but no guitar: stolen instrument caught in music store surveillance video

The stolen guitar is a relatively rare Univox electric guitar from the 1970s. The stolen guitar is a relatively rare Univox electric guitar from the 1970s.
A man brought a guitar in a case to Easy Music Center in Pearl City. A man brought a guitar in a case to Easy Music Center in Pearl City.
William Adair William Adair
Paul Van Paul Van
PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

There's a photo on Facebook of an electric guitar that was taken in a car break-in in Aiea. The same guitar can be seen in a surveillance video taken less than 24 hours after it was stolen.

The guitar is a relatively rare Univox electric guitar from the 1970s. It was taken Saturday night from the trunk of a car that was parked on Moanalua Road, across the street from the Inspiration furniture store at Pearlridge shopping center.

"My back window was busted, my back door window, and I popped open my trunk because I remember I left my guitar in there, and it was gone," said William Adair, who estimates its value at around $500.

Adair is in two local bands and has played the guitar onstage several times. "It's my favorite guitar, you know? Its like my baby. I use it for all my shows," he said.

On Sunday, a man brought a guitar in a case to Easy Music Center in Pearl City. Surveillance video shows the man going to the front counter, insisting that the musical instrument store buy it from him.

Sale manager Paul Van recalls that the man was insistent. "He kept bringing up that he saw an ad saying that we buy used gear," Van said. "Finally I just kinda gave in and said 'let me take a look at it.' I pulled it out, looked at his guitar, and nicely told him no, we're not going to take it."

The video shows Van looking at the guitar for a few moments before handing it back to the man, who leaves without bothering to put the instrument back in its case.

Easy Music Center doesn't buy used instruments, and the store didn't know, or couldn't prove it was stolen, until about eight hours later, when one of the employees saw a posting on Facebook.

"My co-worker Billy called me up and said, 'Hey man, is this the guitar that came in earlier?' And I saw it on Facebook, and I'm like, aw, that's the guitar right there," Van said.

According to Van, the store has helped recover stolen guitars in the past, including one about eight months ago. Van said a man whose guitar had been stolen came into the store with a description of the instrument. Then about an hour later, another man entered the store with the stolen guitar. "The guy came in, and asked us if we would buy it back, and I said sure, let me go in the back and look up the blue book value of the guitar and make a few calls. I was actually on the phone with the police," said Van.

Even though the store wasn't able to catch the culprit this time, Adair is still thankful to its employees and all those who've re-posted the guitar's photo on Facebook. And he's offering a small cash reward, no questions asked, for the guitar's return.

"It means a lot to me," Adair said. "It's not worth very much, but it means a lot to me."

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