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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116716
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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On 07/01/2015 by happen stance I saw a rare guitar in a

Customer Question

Hello, on 07/01/2015 by happen stance I saw a rare guitar in a local music store. A grey Parker Fly guitar. I stated to the store clerk: " I have a Parker Fly, maybe I should have it under lock & key."The clerk expressed : " I don't think so! " I noted a white lavel with bllack lettering on the head stock. It was a stark contrast against the grey guitar, not aesthetically pleasing, unlike a Parker guitar. I asked " Is that the serial number ? " The clerk expressed " Yes. " I did not even touch the Parker guitar as is sat in a stand. I purchase two items and returned home within an hour. I went to use a different guitar. Only to discover it's case empty. That was a Takamine classical valued on eBay @ $ 1500. I looked around immediately for my Parker Fly guitar, it was gone. My home had been burglarized ! I immediately made a police report when I discovered the theft. Two beautiful guitars were stolen, one an expensive Parker Fly heirloom with quite a provenance. The designer ***** ***** actually gave the guitar to my father over 20 years ago, intended for me. The Parker Fly guitar therefore has huge sentimental value. ***** ***** now makes rare guitars, some priced at $30,000. The police officer that night Sean Divine , was very helpful. He took a thorough report & took my remaining guitar & guitar cases for " finger printing or DNA. " He suggested I go the next day to the very same music store and provide a list of the stolen guitars. I went the music store to provide a list of my stolen guitars. As I was writing the list, the clerk immediately disappeared. I asked where he went, he placed the Parker Fly out back. I found this behavior suspicious. I called the police again, they said " It's probably just their policy . " I sent the music store an email description on my guitars as well, within 5 minutes. I was not satisfied with the cavalier simple explanation from police dispatch. Approximately 10 minutes later I returned to the store & asked to see the Parker Fly guitar that they placed out back. The clerk went and go the store owner. The owner was quite belligerent , he came out chest puffed out, gesturing animated with his hands and expressing " I need serial numbers, photographs, receipts ! " I explained I just wanted to see the Parker guitar. I said mine had an ~ 1 inch distinct ding on the back from shipping. The owner expressed " How do I know you didin't see that the other day!" The entire tone was aggressive & defensive. The store claimed they checked the guitar's serial number and it was an apparent 2006 model. A different investigating police officer, Officer Small took over the case. Several days later I went with a police officer to the music store to look at the guitar. The Officer & store owner shook hands and smiled at one another. As they spoke they were completely dismissive of my being there, both of them. This was the first time I was allowed to actually physically look at and touch the guitar. I immediately saw the 1 inch ding on the back. I have had this guitar over 20 years, I knew it was mine. Curiously the prior white decal with black lettring was now gone, supposedly the serial number from before. Now there was a serial number in white lettering underneath clear paint. I pointed this out immediately, I felt my concerns were dismissed by the officer. Regarding the 1 inch ding on the back, Officer Small expressed " I'm sure there's an explanation, a common place they are damaged. " There was new damage to the paint near the neck of the guitar. There were a few features that looked conspicuous and changed, like new screws at the base, near a battery port. The store owner had a shipping box on the counter with wrapping paper, apparently he had already sold the guitar on eBay & was shipping it out. Officer Small expressed : Greg, it's not your guitar. They ran the srial number, it's a 2006. You said yours is over 20 years old. " I said this is my guitar and I know it's mine. I got on the phone, whiule in the store still, to a musician friend that knew my Parker Fly well, he had played it before, familiar with the ding on the back and the heirloom provenance. I was passionate, emotional, probably loud, but not rude or belligerent. Officer Small expressed to me " I'm going to have to ask you to leave ! " Cooler heads prevail, so I walked out of the store and across the street. Later I returned to Officer Small on his police cruider, in the store parking lot. I informed him that this was definitely my guitar. He said " I don't understand why you know about the ding and damage. " I told him I've had it 20 years, given to me by my late father. If you have a scar on your arm, you know where it is, can find it in the dark & likley remember how it happened. I asked how I could stop the sale & imminenet shipping of my guitar. He expressed that I couldn't. I asked " Do I need a laywer ? " I discovered a feature form the 1990's on this guitar. Continued .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You actually do need a lawyer and you need to file suit against the store immediately for "replevin" which is the common law tort name for return of your property and as part of that suit the attorney will file a motion for temporary injunction to prohibit them from selling pending the outcome of the suit. You will need photographs of you with the guitar and witnesses to identify it as your guitar as well as proof of who sold the guitar to the store to show it is indeed your guitar. You need to sue the store for having your property illegally, that is your only remaining recourse when the police will not take action against them to recover your property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank You. The police did conficate the Parker guitar. However they haven't pressed charges against the music store or the individual that sold them the guitar. Reportedly I must place the suspect in my home. None of the burdeon of proof appears to be on the store or seller. The law creates a convoluted labyrinth the common public can't navigate. Essentially the police killed my pursuit in its foot steps.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply and clarification.
You are still going to have to sue the owner of the store to recover your guitar in civil court. The police have a whole different burden of proof than the civil courts use and have to prove it was stolen and who stole it beyond a reasonable doubt, but in civil court you need to only prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is your guitar and the court would award it back to you.

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