California police recover 9 stolen vintage guitars worth $225,000

Vintage guitars
(Image credit: AP News)

Santa Cruz police have recovered nine vintage guitars worth an estimated $225,000 that had been stolen last year as part of a $2 million heist in California. 

The catalog of recovered instruments includes electric guitars and acoustic guitars, and were found following the search of three different locations in the city by Santa Cruz Police Department detectives.

A tip-off from the Los Angeles Police Department had alerted the SCPD to the potential whereabouts of the instruments, with the latter joining up with the Santa Cruz Police Neighborhood Policing Team and Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team to search the premises.

Among the stolen instruments were two 12-string Rickenbackers and a 1959 Rickenbacker Capri, as well as a ‘58 and ‘57 Gretsch Country Club, limited-edition Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Chet Atkins Classical electric.

A 1960 Gretsch Chet Atkins model was also recovered, as was a vintage Hofner bass guitar, with each instrument carrying an individual value of between $5,000 to $50,000. The nine are estimated to be worth $225,000 in total.

The recovery comes after the guitars were originally stolen last year during a $2 million burglary that targeted a musical equipment storage unit in Marina Del Rey. Following the theft, a handful of the stolen guitars made their way on to online retailer

Lieutenant Arnold Vasquez of the Santa Cruz Police Department reported that no arrests have yet been made, saying, “It remains unclear how the stolen property came into the possession of subjects associated to the searches.”

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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.