Back in October 2006, 157 incredibly rare guitars were stolen from an Italian collector named Pierpaolo Adda. The best guess was that Serbian gangsters broke into the Guitar Ranch in Verona and made off with the instruments. In the haul were Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Telecasters and Rickenbackers.
What would criminals do with so many rare guitars? Certainly not sit around and jam, right? The goods had to be properly fenced. But how?
Adda sent out a list of the stolen guitars to rare guitar dealers around the world hoping that a lead would be generated when someone tried to sell off one of the stolen instruments. It worked.
Several guitars from the theft were traced back to a father-and-son team, Rick and Justin Harrison, owners of music shops called Music Ground in the UK. Investigators traced thirty of the 157 stolen guitars back to them in a raid in 2009. They’ve now been convicted on a variety of charges.
It’s a fascinating story worth of an art-theft caper. Read more here.