Looking for Owl Eyed Guitar After Theft
Can you help this former local? Ian Kelmartin sent us the following after his car was broken into.
My girlfriend and I lived in Arcata, attending HSU, for about 4 years before moving down to the Bay Area for work earlier this year. We were visiting Humboldt for the weekend to celebrate our friend’s completion of her master’s degree, and had a spectacular weekend catching up, enjoying the farmer’s market, and being back in the place that still most feels like home for us.
Returning to the Bay this past Sunday, November 5th, we decided to stop for a few minutes at the Federation of Women’s Clubs Grove along the Avenue of the Giants, one of my favorite spots. The gate was closed so we pulled off the side of the road and walked in. When we returned about 30 minutes later (just before 5pm), the driver side rear passenger window was smashed, and my guitar, suitcase (an old piece of Eddie Bauer rolling luggage with a broken handle), a victorinox laptop bag with a macbook air inside, and several other items were stolen. A few pieces of jewelry that have sentimental value to my girlfriend, but are otherwise not worth a whole lot, were also taken. We noticed a suspicious looking, older (80s/90s) white conversion van that seemed to be casing the campground later that evening, but have no idea if it’s related.
My much-loved Taylor guitar was as much of a member of the community as I was. As a member of the group “Thursday Night Bluegrass” we played all over the county–countless gigs in the Eureka/Arcata/McKinleyville area, but also parties from Petrolia to Kneeland, a few weddings for our friends at Miranda Gardens, and casual get togethers in the hills of Southern Humboldt.
We know that unfortunately this kind of crime happens here, but figured that having our items covered up, on a well-trafficked road, in the daylight, they would be safe enough to allow us a short walk among the redwoods.
The guitar itself is Taylor 416ce. One of the more distinctive markings on the instrument is a pair of “owl eyes” in the wood grain on the back of the guitar, clearly shown in the close-up photo of the instrument’s back. The photos are from when the instrument was new in 2011 and it’s been my regular gigging guitar since then, so it is much more worn. It is in a black hard case that is also quite worn. It’s a fairly rare instrument, and one that should still out in a crowd.
As much as this sucks, I love humboldt for the community and so far have been touched with how many folks (both known and unknown to me) have been offering their help in recovering the instrument. I especially have to mention Ranger Blair Pubols of California State Parks, who, after taking the police report, brought us up to park headquarters to help us vacuum the glass out of the car and get some cardboard on the window for our drive back to the Bay Area that night.
I’m realistic about the chances of recovering the instrument, but am doing what I can to maximize whatever small chance that is. Living in the Bay Area, I can’t do as much of the legwork as I’d like to. I’m really hoping that if anyone sees this instrument around, or has any other information, they will either contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or local law enforcement. I’m happy to offer $200 and/or unending gratitude to anyone who can provide information the leads directly to the recovery of the instrument.