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Found my stolen bass on Craigslist. What do you recommend I do?

Discussion in 'Lost & Stolen Gear' started by Axtman, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I had a bass stolen from me a couple of months ago. Well it showed up on Craigslist. I immediately called the police department. The detective that I spoke with told me flat out that they won't do anything to help me retrieve my bass.

    So what do you recommend that I do? Thanks.
  2. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    I am surprised that the police told you that. What did you tell them about how you could prove that the bass was once yours, and had since been stolen. The police - rightly - don’t want to get into the middle of what looks like it could be a legitimate dispute over ownership.
  3. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I might call the police again tomorrow and speak with another detective. I did all the right things and made out a police report that includes the serial number. The ad does not show the serial number but looks exactly like my bass (with telltale damage), even the gig bag. I am 100% sure it is my bass.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  4. Did you initially file a police report when the bass was stolen?
    chupacerveza likes this.
  5. jellymax

    jellymax Don't fry any wooden fish

    Nov 29, 2006
    SF CA
    set up a meeting to view the bass. bring 4 friends. big ones. no guns. show evidence. tell him he is
    in possession of stolen merch. ask him what other stolen merch does he have. take it back. hes not gonna call the cops unless you stupidly
    bring firearms.
    lets say you brought 20 friends & showed your evidence in front of all of them, he would be
    giving you your bass back in a heartbeat.
    bassicg and catcauphonic like this.
  6. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Yes. I reported the theft to the police that night and filed a police report the following day.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  7. Then they are required to investigate this lead if you can show them good evidence that its probably your bass. I suspect that since its on CG they don't want to deal with it.
    Goatrope and Clark Dark like this.
  8. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Well I have called the police department again and they basically told me that they cannot help me in recovering my instrument nor do they recommend me trying to do so.
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I am going to guess that it's not he thief that's selling it. Buy maybe? I would try to get to see it and feel out the seller. Then show the Police report to them if you feel safe enough to do so.
  10. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    I suggest going there in person, with everything you need to prove that the bass is yours and a copy of the police report you filed when it was stolen. It’s really easy for someone to blow you off over the phone.
    DirtDog likes this.
  11. quindecima

    quindecima Inactive

    Sep 18, 2016
    Walterville, Oregon
    Skip the Police and go to the city attorney and tell them that the Police dept. is not doing their mandated job!
    Rapisme, DirtDog, RoketRdr and 2 others like this.
  12. JKos

    JKos Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    That's a pretty ridiculous response from the police department. Although, looking at where your live, maybe that's the reason right now. As in, they have bigger concerns.

    - John

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Go meet the person who's selling the bass with your proof that the bass belongs to you, the police report, the print of the craigslist post, the messages/texts/emails between you and the seller, and a few friends. When you make sure it is your bass indeed, tell him/her that it belongs to you and you're taking your bass back. If s/he refuses to give it to you, then call 911 and show police the evidence. Police won't go there with you to get your bass back, but they'll come when you or him/her calls 911.
  14. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    A situation like what you've described is not likely to be regarded as any kind of emergency, in which case the 911 dispatcher will transfer the OP's call and it will be back to square one. Sucky situation for sure.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Well in that case I would attempt to walk out from the place with the bass, and let the seller call the police for burglary so the police arrives. I would not let it go that easy myself. Yes, it is risky but I would do it.
    catcauphonic likes this.
  16. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    The police only take the report and info in case they happen upon it while investigating another crime in progress (where they pursue a thief into a warehouse of stolen goods) or to cross reference with pawn shop (or Guitar Center) when taking in new merch. They are not going to allocate the manpower to set up a sting operation unless you're in a town the likes of Mayberry.... Bigger fish to fry in the present, sadly.

    Personally I would call to ask some questions, see if you can get their address to see it, and THEN call the cops with this new info. If they still won't meet you there (and likely they won't) I'd get a couple intimidating looking buddies to go meet the (alleged) perp at his address or more likely wherever in public he chooses, and have your buddies either watch from a car in a parking lot to slow him down as you make a break with it after confirming its yours, or if he does give you his address... Call the cops from outside and report the sounds of a violent altercation that just erupted before knocking on the door, as that should get them there quickly (just hope they aren't too busy.)

    I myself would almost definitely at the very least try to meet this thief with paperwork in pocket ready to confront, and play it by ear. Might not be the safest or smartest, but I never claimed to be. Besides my cat, my bass gear is my most prized possessions.
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.
  17. iwearpumas


    Aug 12, 2011
    Middletown, NY
    I would try to buy it. Meet the person in a local pickup or whatever. When you get there, call the cops and say he is robbing you. Cops gonna come, you gonna show that the bass is yours, and you leave with your bass.
  18. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Call your council person and explain the circumstances. You have a report and you recognize what's yours. The police still investigate theft and burglaries. See your council person bcuz :poop: runs downhill.
  19. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    Carrying a firearm is not illegal in Washington. It only becomes a legal issue if you unholster it. There's nothing stupid about having a firearm on you, only what you do with it.
    Goatrope and RoketRdr like this.
  20. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Tell the seller you are interested in buying it but you want to meet in a public place like the police department parking lot or similar.

    When you meet up and inspect the bass, check the serial number and then hand the guy a copy of all the documentation you have showing that it's your bass and that it was stolen.

    Tell him you're taking it back and if he has any objection then he can call the police.

    Put the bass in your car and drive away.

    Bring a friend with you as support but have him remain in the passenger seat unless needed. If you have one, set up a video camera in your car to record everything.
    DanAleks, DirtDog and RoketRdr like this.
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