Facebook strums to the rescue of stolen guitars


By Matthew Le Blanc

With five guitars stolen from her shop, black and white surveillance video to prove it and no concrete leads for police to go on, Suzanne Kirkwood turned to Facebook.

Despite her husband being against the idea, a post titled “Please help us find the 2 guys that stole guitars from crash landing music” and pictures of the instruments were put up on her Facebook page. Within hours, the search was on.

“Why should they get away with it,” says Kirkwood, owner of the mom and pop, punk rock music store Crash Landing. “It’s just encouraging them to come back every weekend and bust into somebody else’s place.”

Friends of Crash Landing’s Facebook page began searching local pawnshops, music stores and online for the missing instruments.

Days went by without new information before a fellow musician, Fred D. Smith, came crashing into Kirkwood’s shop the following Saturday morning with good news.

Smith said he found the guitars at a garage sale down the road after driving by and remembering the photos from Facebook. As Kirkwood called 911, Smith returned to the garage sale and pretended to show interest in the guitars until police arrived.

Four of the five guitars were recovered with their original price tags still attached. Kirkwood estimates the combined value at $2,500 and jokingly says it’s “a good deal to buy for a hundred bucks a pop at a yard sale.”

Chris “Crash” Kirkwood gives Facebook full credit for the retrieval of the instruments.

“Easily 500 people saw Sue’s post on Facebook about the theft. The amazing thing is another guitar player found them. I told Fred I owed him a few guitar strings.”

Suzanne Kirkwood is proud to receive the kind of support her customers have given her and “floored” by how fast the community came together to hunt down the stolen property.

“I’ve lived in this city all my life and you can appreciate Hamilton even more when something like this happens.”

Crash Landing, located on Ottawa St. N., sells “picks, sticks and strings” along with an assortment of punk and horror related merchandise.

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