Recovering a stolen musical instrument takes persistence, and there’s a right way to cover all your bases and increase the chances of getting your instrument back
GearTrack recently shared tips for protecting yourself from music instrument theft on Echoes. We’re back to deal with the worst case scenario: how to recover your stolen musical instrument when you discover it’s missing. Follow this advice, and stay safe out there.
1) Let the cops know
While local law enforcement may not make the same effort as you at finding your stolen instrument, having your theft on file with them is crucial when you (hopefully) locate your instrument and need to recover it. Also, check into local police blotters, community newsletters, and online forums.
2) Reach out to local used retailers
Contact local pawn shops and instrument resale shops — and the sooner the better. This is probably your number one line of defense. A quick flyer with any information regarding your gear (make, color, serial numbers, pictures of the instrument) should be dropped at all the local resale establishments.
3) Monitor used retailers online
Search eBay and Craigslist. If you find your instrument, contact the site and also notify the police. It is not advised that you try to purchase your stolen musical instrument or otherwise recover it on your own. Check out eBay’s stolen goods policy and Craigslist’s recovery tips from ABC News and Stolen 911 for more details.
4) Use your megaphone
Notify friends and family in your online social networks. These people care almost as much about your stuff as you do, and the more eyeballs on your story and gear the better.
5) Ask your local community for help
Contact any local community-driven listservs or crime newsletters. Some neighborhoods have crime specific listservs (here’s an example) that list crime details. Get all your photos, serial numbers, and the best way to contact you to these folks.
6) Participate in online forums and classifieds
The users in online forums are just as passionate as you about your instrument. Users often will keep an eye out for you if you ask. GearTrack has compiled a page of links to some great forums and existing stolen instrument registries.
7) List with GearTrack (of course!)
It’s always free to list a stolen musical instrument at GearTrack. We do instant stolen alerts via Facebook and Twitter to over 7,000 watch dogs. Listing details are fully searchable on our site (and other search engines) by used buyers, sellers, evidence room managers, and anyone else researching gear.
Image of guitar case via ShutterStock.com.
GearTrack is an online registry that aims to deter music instrument theft and aid in recovery. Instrument owners can itemize their collections and victims of theft can send stolen alerts to the WatchDog network and access tools for search and recovery. Buyers and sellers can easily search serial numbers before trading and selling their gear. Learn more and register your instruments at Gear-Track.com.