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Barney to the Rescue!

Since forming 18 years ago, the Bay Area—based Tommy Castro Band has played over 30 gigs in San Diego. Last Friday’s Belly Up show was in peril because guitarist Tommy Castro had his 1966 Fender Stratocaster stolen four days earlier. (Castro’s sound man had left it in his car.)

“It was like losing a member of my family,” says Castro. Also stolen was a Fender Strat from the ’70s and a custom guitar given to him by Fender (his sponsor).

“I never had them appraised because I would never dream of selling them, but collectors told me the three were worth between $15,000 and $20,000. That ’66 Strat was on every record I ever made.”

The day after the guitars were stolen, Castro contacted Barney Roach, a longtime local collector and contributor to Vintage Guitar magazine who in turn contacted other collectors via the Internet. A person who saw the alert discovered them in a San Rafael pawn shop the day after they were stolen. (Castro lives in San Rafael.) The pawn-shop owner paid $400 for all three.

“I could have jammed the guy up,” says Castro. If he had reported the guitars stolen, police would have confiscated them for evidence and the shop owner would have lost his $400. Instead, Castro paid the shop owner the $400 so he could have his guitars for last week’s Belly Up show.

“The cops said I was an idiot for paying the money, but I had to have them back.”

Not as lucky was local multi-instrumentalist Robin Henkel, whose metal Dobro, ’70s Stratocaster, and ’40s-era Recording King (“One of the first electric guitars made”) were stolen from his Scripps Ranch home two years ago.

“The police use serial numbers. Two of them did not have serial numbers. I think I’ll never see them again.… You can see all three of my guitars on my website (robinhenkel.com).”

– Ken Leighton

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Since forming 18 years ago, the Bay Area—based Tommy Castro Band has played over 30 gigs in San Diego. Last Friday’s Belly Up show was in peril because guitarist Tommy Castro had his 1966 Fender Stratocaster stolen four days earlier. (Castro’s sound man had left it in his car.)

“It was like losing a member of my family,” says Castro. Also stolen was a Fender Strat from the ’70s and a custom guitar given to him by Fender (his sponsor).

“I never had them appraised because I would never dream of selling them, but collectors told me the three were worth between $15,000 and $20,000. That ’66 Strat was on every record I ever made.”

The day after the guitars were stolen, Castro contacted Barney Roach, a longtime local collector and contributor to Vintage Guitar magazine who in turn contacted other collectors via the Internet. A person who saw the alert discovered them in a San Rafael pawn shop the day after they were stolen. (Castro lives in San Rafael.) The pawn-shop owner paid $400 for all three.

“I could have jammed the guy up,” says Castro. If he had reported the guitars stolen, police would have confiscated them for evidence and the shop owner would have lost his $400. Instead, Castro paid the shop owner the $400 so he could have his guitars for last week’s Belly Up show.

“The cops said I was an idiot for paying the money, but I had to have them back.”

Not as lucky was local multi-instrumentalist Robin Henkel, whose metal Dobro, ’70s Stratocaster, and ’40s-era Recording King (“One of the first electric guitars made”) were stolen from his Scripps Ranch home two years ago.

“The police use serial numbers. Two of them did not have serial numbers. I think I’ll never see them again.… You can see all three of my guitars on my website (robinhenkel.com).”

– Ken Leighton

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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