Police searching for man who stole an $8,000 Gibson Custom Shop '59 Les Paul by cramming it down his pants

Gibson Les Paul and suspect
(Image credit: York Regional Police)

Police in Canada are seeking a man who was spotted on CCTV stealing a Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop by stuffing it down his pants and casually walking out a guitar store.

The incident took place at Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill, Ontario, on December 20 last year, and York Regional Police have now shared footage of the bizarre theft.

In the video, the unidentified individual can be seen sitting on a stool with what has been confirmed to be a 60th Anniversary ‘59 Custom Shop LP, which – after a brief glance round the store – he begins inserting headstock-first down the left leg of his trousers.

After somehow stuffing the neck down his pants without attracting any attention, the suspect then unzips his jacket, wraps it round the body of the guitar, and attempts to conceal the four-kilogram instrument by zipping it back up again.

Keeping things cool, the individual – who by this point is nicely cosied up with the guitar – then takes his time to plan out his escape route, and further avoids drawing attention to himself by picking up and inspecting a nearby acoustic.

You’d think such a cumbersome arrangement would make for a rather awkward getaway. Yet despite the footage unfortunately cutting out before we see the suspect waddle out the store, it turns out he managed walk straight out without catching the eye of any Cosmo Music employees.

After leaving, the individual rendezvoused with a second suspect – whom Canadian police are also seeking – who drove the pair away from the scene.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the York Regional Police by calling 1-866-876-5423, or by leaving an anonymous tip online.

Despite the unorthodox means by which the guitar was stolen, it's not the first time we've come across someone stealing a six-string by shoving it down their trousers. Back in 2018, a man stole a $1,700-valued Fender from a Guitar Center in Texas using the exact same strategy.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.