Stolen property such as jewelry, TV’s, computers, and musical instruments can result in the catastrophic loss of valuable and sentimental collection. In fact, most victims of theft typically only contact Law Enforcement and file a report for the stolen items. In most cases, these items are rarely recovered. Worse, is that there are theft rings throughout the world that target individuals and their collections. In today’s world there are steps one can take to protect their items and in the event a theft takes place, how to recover.
A well known guitar collector in Pennsylvania had a collection of rare and very expensive guitars that were dated back to the 1950’s. In fact, several of these instruments had an individual value over $100,000. The collector turned his basement into a guitar showroom that he would welcome visitors to come and admire. In fact, the collector would post pictures on social media and facebook identifying his treasures for all to see. He would even comment how rare an instrument was and its value. Not only did his friends see this, but unsavory people he wasn’t acquainted with were also snooping in on his collection. Worse yet, he had no home security systems, no camera’s in house and he never added these highly valued instruments on his home insurance policy.
Step 1: How To Protect Yourself In The Event of A Theft
- ALWAYS take pictures or even record video of your belongings. In the event of a theft, you have clear and recognizable photos of the stolen items.
- Notify your homeowner insurance provider and list valuable items on your policy rider so you are covered.
- Identify and make records of any serial numbers or distinguishing characteristics of your property. Identifying your stolen property will be much easier.
- Install a security system or surveillance camera system. Today’s state-of-the-art digital surveillance can monitor and video tape of a potential theft. Modern systems even have infrared motion activation that can send a notification directly to your cellular phone the second any activity is noticed.
It became very well known that the collector would travel a lot on weekends to his home in the Pocono’s in Pennsylvania. One weekend in 2015 the collector went away for a weekend and he again advertised where he was on social media, essentially alerting everyone he was not at home. When he returned to his home on a late Sunday evening he was immediately greeted with the surprise that his guitar collection had been stolen. He immediately contacted local law enforcement and filed the stolen property report. He also contacted his homeowners insurance and realized he was only covered for $1,000.00 for the stolen property.
The collector immediately attempted to recover the instruments to no avail. He contacted local pawn shops and local guitar stores with no success at all. The collector went on line and found “Social Guardian” to help him recover his valuable stolen instruments.
Step 2: How To Recover Lost Or Stolen Property Using Social Guardian
Social Guardian investigators immediately opened the investigation. Since the theft took place in Pennsylvania and knowing the items were of very high value it was thought the criminals would not be selling the items locally in fear of capture. So, the investigation became much larger in scope and required the Social Guardian investigators to conduct a national sweep of all 50 states thru various social media sites, dealer’s, music stores, forum’s and on line sale platforms. Fortunately, the collector had so many photographs of the guitars the SG Investigators had a very clear idea of what they were looking for. Some even had serial numbers on them to further aide in the investigation.
After several weeks of coming up with limited findings the investigators hit the jack pot when they found several of the instruments being advertised “for sale” in Dallas, Texas for an upcoming guitar show. Social Guardian Group’s private investigators were able to positively identify several of the stolen guitars through the photographs and serial numbers provided by the rightful owner. The investigators also found the name of the dealer that was advertising the instruments for sale and conducted a thorough background investigation on the owner of the guitar show. Turns out, the owner of the show was charged previously and had numerous prior arrests for receiving and selling stolen property.
The Social Guardian investigators attended the guitar show for further clarification of the instruments and noted several of the guitars on display. The investigators also were able to match the serial numbers to several of the guitars at the show.
The Social Guardian investigators contacted the local Dallas Texas police detectives unit. The Police were able to make an arrest and recover the majority of the stolen instruments. The guitar show owner provided additional names of individuals that were also involved in this crime and discovered they were associated with several other thefts across the country regarding high end merchandise. The Police recovered tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise that were found in a storage locker located outside Los Angeles, CA. All of the individuals involved in this crime cooperated with authorities and returned the majority of what was stolen to the guitar collector.
Social Guardian Group Recovers The Stolen Property Over 1,300 Miles Away
The collector was extremely fortunate that he was able to get his items returned to him with the help of “Social Guardian”
Today, he has cameras in his house and he no longer advertises his collection on social media. He also notified his homeowner’s insurance carrier and added the instruments onto his policy.
Typically, Time is of the essence when it comes to recovering stolen property. The longer you wait the more unlikely it will be recovered.
Without the use of Social Guardian these items may never have been recovered. No one wants to be a victim of theft. If you are, we recommend that you immediately contact police and file a report. After police are notified of the theft, the most important step you take afterwards is to contact Social Guardian Group to hire our Online Private Investigators on the case.