It’s been seven years, and the owner of a $15,000 guitar has been reunited with it and this theft case has finally been closed.
On May 9, Montgomery County Police say they arrested a man named Jacob Riley who allegedly stole the expensive Alembic guitar belonging to James Michael Rogers in 2011. Rogers goes by the name of Malik since that was his stage name as a former bass player in a band called Father’s Children.
The case may be closed but the wounds still appear on Malik’s face as he plays his guitar, which he says is now foreign to him after all those long years. “I use to play it (the guitar) every night in a dark room,“ said Malik.“ That’s how you make a song.“
He played songs with this guitar for over two decades and he says that as he was moving from Washington D.C. he left his guitar with his long-time friend Eddie Canterbury in Silver Spring, Maryland. Canterbury says the guitar was stored in his garage when his son discovered the guitar and other items missing. Immediately, a police report was filed by the Canterburys and the hunt for the guitar was on.
But this wasn’t the first time Malik had his Alembic guitar stolen. “Back in 2004,“ Malik recalled, “I had it stolen from me. That was when I was playing in the band.“ He added that when he received the guitar back the first time, he had already been offered insurance money for it. He looked dead serious as he spoke next, “I didn’t want the insurance money as soon as my guitar turned up. I wanted that.“ He said and pointed to the sleek guitar resting on the plush sofa next to him.
The first time the guitar was it was a moment of pure joy for Malik he discloses, but this time at 64 years old he doesn’t feel the same. He grabbed his guitar as he explained why, “the string cords are different, it’s missing its strap. It’s not the same. People have done things to my guitar that should have never been done.“ His friend Canterbury interjected and said, “It’s just old man. Least you got it back.“
The guitar was returned by a man named Rob Kelly that says he purchased it online. That person that had sold it to Kelly allegedly bought it from a pawn shop. “That pawn shop wasn’t a good one because they bought it and resold it. They didn’t notice the type of guitar this is. It’s not a cheap one,“ Malik added as he showed the serial number and emblem on the guitar.
Once Kelly had contacted Canterbury and willfully returned the item, detectives were called to continue their investigation further as to who might have stolen the guitar in the first place.
The man behind the theft, Jacob Riley was caught and arrested a couple of weeks ago. The Montgomery County Police Department says he has now been released on a 500 dollar bond.
“He should still be in jail,” remarked Malik. “He shouldn’t be out, seriously.”