Follow that guitar

Wanted posters still hang in the windows of Fallbrook stores.
  • Wanted posters still hang in the windows of Fallbrook stores.

It’s been over a year since Fallbrook guitarist/singer Larry Robinson, 64, was beaten to death at the music store where he worked. His extended musical family is still looking for answers.

Robinson played around greater Fallbrook for three decades. Many downtown Fallbrook stores still have a “Who killed Larry Robinson?” poster in their front window. In March his wife Patricia organized a one-year anniversary acoustic concert and march near Pete’s Music, the Temecula music store where he was killed.

One impatient neighbor wonders if the police are putting enough effort into the cause.

“It seems like the police dropped the ball,” says Dan Grigor, who recently launched a social-media effort to track down the two suspected killers who murdered Robinson and stole a red-wine Gibson Les Paul studio guitar worth about $5000. “I’ve been following it on Facebook and I see nothing. Then I hear from a friend who knows another music-store owner who has some kind of video, but nothing is happening.”

The Riverside sheriff’s department is overseeing the investigation. “I think they need to take it more seriously than they have,” says Grigor.

Grigor, who hopes tracking down the stolen Les Paul will finger the suspects, recruited Chris Stone, a musician who was twice robbed of musical equipment, became frustrated with law-enforcement response, and launched screamingstone.com, which tracks down stolen musical equipment.

“The first time I was robbed, the police wouldn’t even come out,” explains Stone, who runs the website for free. “The second time they took a serial number and said they would put it in their database.”

Stone, who declines to divulge his hometown, says it gets messy because pawn shops are the primary places where instrument thieves cash out. “The pawn shops make a lot of money from stolen gear and they don’t want their gravy train to end. Whether it’s by purpose or by mistake, they don’t often report the serial number correctly.”

And Stone says Craigslist doesn’t help, because minutes after one posts a stolen instrument for sale it gets flagged, “probably by the thieves themselves.”

Stone says screamingstone.com has helped recover 550 missing items in six years. “We have a 7 percent recovery rate. Which isn’t very good, but it’s better than the police who only retrieve 3 percent.”

For a description of the guitar of interest in the Larry Robinson case, go to screamingstone.com. When asked where one can go to see the composite drawings of the suspects, Riverside County sheriff’s detective Ed Baeza says he has access to them, but there is not a website for the public to access.

Anyone with information is asked to call 951-955-2777. There is a $25,000 reward offered by the City of Temecula for information leading to the arrest of the suspects.

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