Southern California

Woman Accused of Stealing Vintage Guitars is Going to Face the Music

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

A woman caught on camera allegedly boosting two vintage guitars, worth about $10,000 a piece, is going to face the music after she was caught in Southern California, authorities said.

Anna Gabriela Reyes, 23, from San Pedro, was arrested on suspicion of theft in connection with the music shop heist Tuesday, Orange County police said.

Police also said the guitars were recovered and returned to Imperial Vintage Guitars.

A week before, the owner of Imperial Vintage Guitars was pleading for the public's help on the store's Instagram story after the two classic guitars, a 1968 Gibson Johnny Smith and a 1955 Gretsch Firebird, were wrenched off the wall and taken right out the front door.  

Orange police said they received a 911 call minutes after the heist went down.

Tyler Lacagnina, the employee working at the time, said it hindsight, he should've thought it was odd. 

A woman came in to the store located at 864 N. Main Street store around 6:30 p.m. May 18.

The woman, later identified as Reyes, 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 the second woman spoke with Lacagnina, Reyes was seen on security footage grabbing the guitars off the wall. 

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.

The chain's owner, Shai Ashkenazi, said rare instruments like the guitars that were stolen 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.  

Looks like he was right. 

It wasn't immediately clear if the second woman was questioned in connection with the crime. 

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