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Stolen: Birdsong Cortobass Serial# 9C-145X

Discussion in 'Lost & Stolen Gear' started by Dirk McQuickley, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Dirk McQuickley

    Dirk McQuickley Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Hello Talkbass.com,

    Unfortunately, one of my former close friends has ruined her life through crack addiction. I couldn't figure out that this was her issue because she was mixing the use of crack with Klonopin (Note: I've seen people wigged-out on crack but not blended with Klonopin). Never-the-less, she got me to let her into my house under false pretenses and now I am paying the price. I purchased and received my Birdsong Cortobass way back in 2008 and it is still in nearly mint condition. The serial number is 9C-145X. I checked all my files and the best picture I have is the one supplied by Birdsong when it was nearly complete. There are no pawnshops in the town that I live in so it is highly likely that she has pawned it in Indianapolis or Lawrence Township, Indiana. I have also attached a picture of the thief. I haven't read the rules but for now, I will say her name is Kelley Nicole Gamblin. She was originally born in New Hampshire (Franklin?) but has lived in Hazlehurst, GA, Shelbyville, IN and most recently Ladson, SC before technically becoming homeless when she came back to Indy and robbed my house and has engaged in some degree of identity theft. Help me find the bass and nail this bitch to the wall. Kelley Gamblin is the person on the far right in the second picture.

    Dave Keller (Dirk McQuickley)
    Shelbyville, IN

    Attached Files:

    Bigoo7e and chupacerveza like this.
  2. Osnapstacy77


    Dec 6, 2019
    Hey Dave,

    I know exactly who you are talking about. I wanted to let you know Kelley has a warrant out of New Hampshire. Violating a domestic violence protection order. She has done some horrible things which is how she ended up homeless. Im a very close friend to the family were she committed these acts .
    Shes a liar and a fraud. If you can find her she will be arrested for her violation and hopefully for what she did to you. Im so sorry you have been caught up in her ******** also. Just know you are not alone.
  3. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    I'm guessing she doesn't look this healthy as of late.

    Any news regarding her or the recovery of your bass?
  4. frustum

    frustum Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2020
    Austin, TX, USA
    There is a happy ending!

    I bought the bass off ebay about three weeks ago. It is gorgeous, but the action was way high.

    I happen to live about an hour from the builder (Scott Beckwith), so I dropped it off to get new strings and make adjustments. I got it back less than a week ago.

    Today Scott called me to say: sorry, that is a stolen bass.

    Tomorrow I'll drop it off with Scott, and Scott will professionally pack and ship it to Dirk M.

    I'll contact the ebay seller and see if he has anything to say about it.
    Neo1, Bigoo7e, SaxBass and 1 other person like this.
  5. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Wow! Keep us posted :) Good on you!
  6. DC in ATX

    DC in ATX Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Crazy. I thought long and hard about buying that bass, reaching out to both the builder and the seller. I’m guessing the seller had no idea it was stolen, simply because the serial number was in the pictures.
  7. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    wow this is an amazing circle of events. Glad it is all working out. It should be an easy trail for authorities to follow. and hopefully your friend will one day be able to get her life back on track.
  8. Dirk McQuickley

    Dirk McQuickley Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Well, this story has a partially happy ending for me. The Cortobass was located and is back home. A big shoutout has to be given to Spectorbasslad who found the Ebay auction and notified me. I didn't catch the notification soon enough and the bass was sold. The Ebay seller's ID is "mrg2" who is allegedly located in Indianapolis and the auction history suggests this person operates a new & used music equipment business. I passed the information along to Birdsong Guitars and as luck would have it, the buyer (frustrum) was down in Austin, Texas and had taken it to Birdsong to get the action adjusted. Birdsong immediately remembered the bass and put me in touch with the frustrum and I was able to get it back. I really hope frustrum can get his money back. I did provide him with the theft report number and contact information to the Sheriffs Department with which it was filed. Frustrum; if you need the whole e-mail thread between the Shelby County Sheriff's Department and me, let me know.

    I'll never be able to recover any of the other stolen items and they amounted to the bulk of the lost value in the overall theft and the bulk of those items actually belonged to other family members and friends (a lot of collateral damage here). I only hoped to get the Cortobass back and for once, life worked out for the better this time.
    Bigoo7e and frustum like this.
  9. frustum

    frustum Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2020
    Austin, TX, USA
    There is a coda to the story.

    After finding out the bass was stolen, I had it shipped back to Dave aka Dirk, its rightful owner. I then opened an issue at ebay supplying proof the bass was stolen. I believe the seller (who had bought it from a pawn shop) truly didn't realize it was stolen. Ebay said: we'll give you a week to work it out with the seller and if the two of you can't come to an agreement, then ask us to step in.

    I messaged the seller, reassured him I'm trying to work with him such that he doesn't lose any money. I suggested that he refund me just the profits he made off the sale. I lose a few hundred and he makes no money, and we call it even -- seems fair to me. But he didn't address my suggestion directly, sent a scan of the receipt from the pawn shop which artfully cropped out the name of the pawn shop and the amount he paid for the bass. Even though I said I'd be willing to take the loss, he replied he did nothing wrong and isn't going to go in the hole on a sale where he did nothing wrong. I replied to that again explaining he doesn't need to lose money, and he ignored me.

    So after a week I asked ebay to arbitrate. I again made my suggestion: he shows what he paid, and then refunds just his profits. This is where things go Brazil (the movie, not the country). Every single communication from ebay's end was handled by a different agent and it was like each had only skimmed all the transactions before. They kept insisting I should return the bass to the seller and only then could I get a refund. I said, over and over, that I had already shipped the bass to the true owner and could prove it. One agent understood that, but suggested I should ask the owner to give the bass to the seller, then I could get my money back, then the real owner could negotiate with the seller to get back his bass. I told them that made no sense and under no circumstances would I even suggest to the owner give his bass to a stranger then negotiate for its return. She said I see what you are saying, but I'm confident they could work out something equitable. Considering how uncooperative the seller was to that point, I think her confidence was misplaced.

    On July 7th or so I got another message from yet another ebay agent saying: this case is under review. Please be patient while we review it.

    July 17th I still hadn't heard anything, so I ping'd them: hey, is this still under review. Radio silence.

    Then out of the blue, just minutes ago, I receive an refund for the full amount (about $1200 sale price plus $150 tax and shipping). I'm gobsmacked. I'm not sure if ebay ate the cost, or they took it out of the seller's account. The dumb thing is that if we had agreed to my original suggestion it would have saved many many transactions with ebay, and neither ebay nor the seller would have been out any money. Instead I don't lose a penny, and either ebay or the seller ate the loss.
  10. DC in ATX

    DC in ATX Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Sounds like a PITA. But I am glad you were made whole.
    smperry and frustum like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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