Thieves run off with nearly $5K in guitars from music shop

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO - The owners of a longtime music shop in Jefferson County are trying to recover from a costly theft.  Darrell Stiles and his business partner have operated Jefferson County Music for more than 30 years.   The music store on Old State Route 21 near Imperial was the target of thieves sometime early Tuesday morning.

“They got 9 guitars and 2 amplifiers,” said Stiles.  He said thieves smashed the glass of his front door and then appeared to go straight to his expensive guitars.  “We’re talking about nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise.”

The stolen guitars included several Michael Kelly guitars.  They included a Hybrid Special Natural, a 55 Hybrid Tele, a 1953 Eclipse Tele, a black Patriot Blake Shelton, a signature black Patriot Blake Shelton and a signature camouflage Patriot Blake Shelton.

The owners did not have insurance on the guitars so replacing the inventory will be difficult.  Stiles said he’s now going to consider having metal bars installed on his door and windows.

“We’ll see if we can borrow a little bit of money and get through the holiday season and at least break even from the whole thing,” he said.

He believes the theft happened Tuesday between 1:30am and 2:00am.  Friends hope the community will rally behind the longtime music store.  They will soon be celebrating 32 years in business and have never faced a crime such as this one.

“It’s already hard to make it in this business but something like this, it just gets close to being impossible,” said Stiles.

He is checking with pawn shops and other music stores in case the stolen merchandise turns up.  He hopes investigators will find those responsible.  He said his message to the thieves is, “Karma will get you eventually.”

Anyone with information should contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department at 636-797-9999.