Police: Thief caught trying to sell high-end instruments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police have a message for thieves after officers say a suspected burglar was caught trying to sell high-end instruments stolen from a Santa Fe home a day earlier.

Roughly 24 hours prior to Wednesday night, Alan Rogers of Santa Fe wasn’t sure he’d ever see his Gibson Mandolin or his specially crafted guitar from Maine ever again.

“Spent several hours with the Santa Fe Police last evening, and then reached out to my friends in the music community throughout New Mexico,” he said.

His home was broken into sometime Tuesday, and three of his high-value instruments were missing. That is, until the manager of Guitar Center on San Pedro and Menaul called him Wednesday.

In that moment, the manager was staring at the stolen guitar and the suspected burglar, who was trying to get cash for it.

“[The manager] knew it was stolen – one of the key things is it wasn’t in a case,” APD Officer Simon Drobik said. “No one walks around with a $9,000 guitar not in a case.”

“The next call I got was from Officer Drobik, who said they had the guy in custody,” Rogers said.

He rushed down to Albuquerque.

The suspected burglar also tried to sell the Mandolin.

“I held out hope, actually, I’ve heard of people getting their instruments back,” Rogers said.

As for the third instrument, police believe it could be inside the trunk of the suspect’s car, which will soon be searched.

While this story quickly came to a happy ending, police have a message for any other thieves thinking of pulling a similar stunt.

“Don’t do your ‘crookly’ deeds up in Santa Fe and pull the wool over these guys’ eyes and the Albuquerque Police Department. We’re gonna bust you every time,” Drobik said.

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