Nanaimo musician hopes for the return of his beloved guitar after burglary – Nanaimo News Bulletin


A Nanaimo musician hopes the public and the RCMP can help find stolen sound equipment and a beloved guitar.

The items were stolen in a burglary at his property near the corner of Victoria Road and Needham Street on Saturday March 19 at 6.10am.

Collen Middleton said in an email to the News Bulletin that surveillance video footage showed the thief spending about eight minutes using a crowbar to break open the locks on a garage door used as a music studio.

The equipment was heavy, so Middleton said the culprit likely had a truck parked out of the camera’s line of sight to transport the equipment. He described the suspect as a man about six feet tall wearing a dark or black leather jacket and a light colored hoodie and blue jeans.

Items taken included professional sound equipment and a portable generator, but the biggest personal loss was Middleton’s Korean-made 1990s Fender Squier Stratocaster, which the musician says is irreplaceable.

“The mark on the head was shaved off,” Middleton said. “The guitar is unique in the decals, the paint job – originally black with a mountain scene painted on it in acrylics, then covered in decals.”

The guitar has also been modified. The original bridge pickup has been replaced with a black Seymour Duncan humbucking pickup and the internal electronics have been upgraded to achieve the tonal characteristics of a guitar used by singer and lead guitarist of rock band Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong. Middleton said in 2019 that he used the guitar for a year-long tribute to Green Day and raised awareness and funds for women’s and children’s shelters and men’s addiction recovery. He and his bandmates have raised over $12,000 for these causes through a concert series called the Raw Punk Green Day Tribute Project.

He said stolen equipment is insured against theft, but the guitar symbolizes to him how music transcends and erases societal divides and he needs the guitar in his hands to do more work on it at the moment. to come up.

“It has huge sentimental value to me,” Middleton said. “I got this in California in 1994 and it was my first guitar I learned to play on when I was 11. Of all the stuff that was stolen, this is the only item I want so goodbye.”

Anyone with information about the guitar and other stolen items is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file number 2022-9303.

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