As we reported on 7/26, Randy and the band regretfully neglected to take the instruments from the van into their hotel rooms after performing at the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer festival, as they were normally accustomed to doing. They were dog tired and had planned to only sleep a few hours before returning to Nashville the next morning.
The theft was reported to the local Obetz, OH police who were unable to collect any fingerprints or forensic evidence from the vehicle. Kohrs’ fiddler and road manager Ashley Brown spread word about the theft far and wide, with hopes that these highly distinctive instruments might be easily recognizable when offered on the secondary market.
On July 31, three of Randy’s resophonic guitars were sold to pawn shops in nearby Columbus. Obetz detectives quickly located the seller, who was not involved in the actual theft, but was able to provide police with information that led to the apprehension of the thieves.
Brown tells us that…
“They learned through this suspect, however, that the next to be sold were the two missing violins and pawn shops in the area were put on alert.
Two days later, a third pawn shop contacted the police as men were attempting to sell the anticipated instruments and stalled them until law enforcement arrived. This ultimately lead to the discovery of the majority of the remaining stolen items.
Special thanks go out to all the detectives involved: Franklin County Det. Jeff Reed, and the Columbus Police Department’s Det. Ron Turner, Det. J.B. Summers, Det. Steve Nate, and Det. Robert Hoffman.”
Police are not prepared to release the names of the suspects until they are formally charges, sometime this next week. Six counts of 4th degree felony are anticipated in this case.
Their personal effects and a GPS unit were not recovered, but Brown and Kohrs both expressed great relief and satisfaction at having the tools of their trade returned unharmed. Ashley said that one of her fiddles was still in tune!
As any insurance agent will tell you, it is crucially important to have multiple photos of any valuable musical instruments – along with serial numbers – in a safe place should this unfortunate occasion arise.
Hats off to all involved in bringing this case to such a quick and gratifying conclusion.