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Guitars signed by rock stars taken from Florida storage unit

January 15, 2020 GMT

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been arrested after he tried to pawn a red California SG electric guitar signed by the members of rock band Van Halen that he stole from a storage unit, police investigators said.

The owner of OK Pawn alerted police last week when Jeremy James Andrewlavage, 43, came into his store and wanted $200 for the guitar, which is valued at $2,052. Wes Wade called Daytona Beach police detectives, who had visited his pawn shop a week earlier inquiring about guitars.

The guitar — and several others signed by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, U2 and Paul McCartney — was stolen from a storage unit owned by Jack Baker.

Baker told police he’d had the guitars in his condo but decided to move them to a storage unit because he thought they’d be safer there, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. He told the newspaper he learned recently that they’d been stolen.

“It was just like a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach,” Baker said. “I had them for a number of years and they were all beautiful, like-new condition guitars.”

Baker said he wasn’t surprised the man tried to sell the guitar for just $200, adding that most people don’t know their value.

On Dec 2, police recovered a black and white guitar signed by Bob Dylan, but they didn’t know who owned it until Baker reported the guitars missing.

A police report said that while Baker was out of town, his storage unit was being looked after by Victoria Lynn Longo. She discovered them missing on Dec. 17 when she realized the door to the unit was unlocked, the report said.

She reported the guitars missing Dec. 20, telling police she waited to get the paperwork for the guitars before reporting the theft. She told investigators all the guitars were there in October.

Baker told police he now believes he left the door unlocked.

The missing guitars include a Blue Fender electric guitar signed by the Rolling Stone and valued at $4,670; a dark “greenburst” guitar signed by Bob Dylan worth about $1,620; an American Flag electric guitar signed by Bruce Springsteen worth about $3,250; a Black Fender electric guitar signed by Eric Clapton worth $3,024; a Fender electric guitar signed by U2 worth $2,916 and an electric sunburst guitar signed by Paul McCartney worth about $2,100.

Baker said his favorite is the one signed by Springsteen.

He’s offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the guitars.

Andrewlavage is in the Volusia County Jail, charged with burglary and dealing in stolen property. A lawyer isn’t listed on court records, which detail a lengthy criminal history.