So, my Lakland was returned yesterday. It's a long story, and maybe I'll write it down in a bit, but (2) of my co-workers set up a meet in downtown Berkeley. They took the bass, saying it was stolen, citing a police case #, serial number, etc. The guys selling it pleaded innocence (I've had this a year (not!) - I don't think that's right - is this a shake down?) and backtracked. They got a photo of the car and license plate and have a good, solid description of the guys. It feels great to have the bass back, and I'm grateful that so many people took notice and took an interest in getting it back.
I'm pretty conscious of my gear and it's security, but we all get lax at times (particularly at the end of a long gig at 2:30am). I was loading my gear into my house with a friend. There must have been a short window when neither of us were outside watching the car. Hopefully lesson learned!
Another lesson is not to let your insurance lapse! I have used https://www.musicproinsurance.com/
for a few years, and they've always been great to work with.
I know that a lot of stolen instrument stories don't turn out well; I had low expectations. Stealing from a musician is particularly troubling. Hopefully the legal system can prevent these guys from pulling something like this off again.