Lowe Vintage Instruments robbed

lowesA man committed a snatch-and-grab robbery yesterday at Lowe Vintage Instruments in Burlington, NC, getting away with three rare, vintage banjos. The value of the three instruments was placed at just over $16,000.

Instruments brokers and pawn dealers in central and western North Carolina are advised to keep an eye peeled for the following:

  • 1930 Gibson RB-11 (blue)
  • 1930 Gibson TB-2
  • 1960 Fender Artist

Shop owners Ed Lowe and his son Will, report that the man entered the store around 2:00 p.m. on January 27 and was seen taking the three instruments from their wall display, and heading out the door.

Additional suspect details can be found in an article published yesterday afternoon in the Burlington Times News.

Serial numbers of the banjos are recorded. Anyone coming into contact with these instruments is asked to contact the Burlington Police Department.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. – We just spoke with the folks at Lowe Vintage, who report that the banjos have been recovered and are on their way back to the shop.

A music store in Greensboro had purchased them yesterday evening, along with a pair of guitars (Fender Stratocasters from the 1970s) stolen from yet another store. The proprietor of the Greensboro store called Will Lowe last night to see if they might be interested in buying the banjos, unaware that they had been stolen from there just hours before.

The Burlington Police have identified their suspect and are looking for him now. Not only did he use his actual driver’s license and name when selling the stolen property in Greensboro, a customer in the barber shop just down the street from Lowe Vintage was so startled to see a man running by at a full sprint with three banjos in his arms, that he stepped out of the shop to record the license plate of the car he got into.

Think he’ll get teased much in jail?

Ed Lowe says that the banjos suffered no damage, beyond a couple of minor nicks. And he doesn’t plan to change the way the instruments are displayed, allowing customers to examine and play them at will. He said that the banjos are closest to the front door, surely the reason they were grabbed.

All in all, a very successful outcome for the Lowes and their banjos.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.