Southern California

Women Caught on Camera Ripping Off $10,000 Vintage Guitars in Store Heist

Each guitar — a 1968 Gibson Johnny Smith and a 1955 Gretsch Firebird — were worth about $10,000 each, the owner said.

Two women were caught on camera ripping off a vintage guitar shop in Southern California, making off with two guitars that are worth about $10,000 each.

The owner of Imperial Vintage Guitars was pleading for the public's help on the store's Instagram story after two women were accused of stealing the guitars: a 1968 Gibson Johnny Smith, and a 1955 Gretsch Firebird. 

Imperial Vintage Guitars
Police and Imperial Vintage Guitars were on the hunt for the women behind a heist after the pair made off with two classic guitars May 18, 2019.

Orange police said they received a 911 call minutes after the heist went down. Two women came into the 864 N. Main Street store around 6:30 p.m. May 18.

Tyler Lacagnina said it hindsight, he should've thought it was odd. 

A woman came, and said she was looking for a guitar for her boyfriend. She asked to see a collection upstairs, and Lacagnina said sure. 

A second woman walks in, and says the same thing — she said she was looking for a guitar for her boyfriend. 

While one of the women distracted Lacagnina, the other grabbed the guitars off the wall. At first, the woman casually eyes the guitar. Lacagnina later said it's clear she knows exactly what she's looking at — guitars worth $10,000.

Then she begins to run, heads downstairs, and escapes out the front door. He chases after her, as captured on camera. 

What's not captured is what happens when he catches up with her. He confronts her and the driver of the getaway car.

"The car started to move at me, at which point I disengaged," he said.

Employees have surveillance footage from days before, and they recognize one of the women who came in asking about the guitars that were stolen. 

The chain's owner, Shai Ashkenazi, said the women are going to have a problem. 

Rare instruments like the guitars they took are very easy to spot on the black market. They have serial numbers, and are well-known by collectors everywhere.

"You can't really get away with selling them," Ashkenazi said.  

If anyone recognizes the women in the video or spots the guitars up for sale, call the Orange Police Department at 1-855-847-6227. 

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