Pin It
Favorite

Lightning Joe's recovers stolen guitar, police on lookout for accomplice 

The theft of a guitar from a family-run music store in Arroyo Grande resulted in an outpouring of help from a wide network determined to ensnare the thief and retrieve the instrument.

On July 28, 34-year-old Geddilee Michael Lansford and his unidentified accomplice allegedly stole a Taylor acoustic guitar worth $2,100 from Lightning Joe's Guitar Heaven.

click to enlarge COMMUNITY SUPPORT When two men stole a guitar from Lightning Joe's Guitar Heaven, quick thinking from the store's general manager and the administrative officer resulted in help from other local music stores and pawn shops in Santa Maria. - PHOTO TAKEN FROM LIGHTNING JOE'S FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Photo Taken From Lightning Joe's Facebook Page
  • COMMUNITY SUPPORT When two men stole a guitar from Lightning Joe's Guitar Heaven, quick thinking from the store's general manager and the administrative officer resulted in help from other local music stores and pawn shops in Santa Maria.

General Manager Joseph Daoust told New Times he was having lunch in his office and missed the theft when it occurred. But an eyewitness customer tipped him off, and Daoust then reviewed the store's security camera footage.

"He watched them try to open the back door and when they couldn't open it, they quickly went out through the front," Daoust said. "They arrived and left separately, within 10 seconds of each other, to make it seem less suspicious, I guess."

Daoust noted that the thieves left the store with the guitar at 2:36 p.m. While he and other employees walked and drove around the Arroyo Grande Village to spot the men, Daoust's wife and store administrative officer, Ashley, called the Arroyo Grande Police Department.

Half an hour after he returned from his search on foot and spoke with the police officer, Daoust began a series of phone calls to three music stores and some pawn shops in Santa Maria. It proved to be a quick hit.

"Diamond Jewelry and Loan called me and told me about a suspicious situation. Someone had come in matching the description I had passed and matched the guitar description," Daoust said. "She said it was a nice guitar without a guitar case, and she turned them away."

While on that call, Daoust said he received another call from the manager of Santa Maria's Guitar Center. Lansford was allegedly at the store with the guitar, and a Guitar Center employee was trying to stall him by "looking up the guitar" online. Guitar Center employees had already called the Santa Maria Police Department, which was on its way. Those police officers arrested Lansford, and Lightning Joe's got the guitar back.

"The guitar didn't have a single scratch or dent on it," Daoust said. "It was in mint condition. That really surprised us."

Arroyo Grande Police's Sgt. Castillo, who requested his first name be anonymous, told New Times that while Lightning Joe's footage showed Lansford with a male partner, a woman accompanied him to the Guitar Center when he tried to hawk it. Lansford's accomplice is still at large, and Castillo said police are on the lookout. He declined to reveal the partner's identity.

Police officers booked Lansford into custody around 9:30 p.m. on July 28, with bail set for $20,000 related to a felony charge for grand theft. Lansford is no longer in custody as of Aug. 2, according to booking records.

For Lightning Joe's Daoust, being quick to make phone calls helped recover the stolen guitar.

"We're a family-owned business ... and it feels like a stab in the back when someone takes things from you," he said. "It doesn't matter how much it costs." Δ

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

View Results

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event