Saturday (December 19) at about 1:00 p.m. a thief walked out of Pitbull Audio with a tabletop controller used to record music. The theft occurred at 300 West 28th Street in National City.
On December 20, I talked to one of the owners of the musical instrument store, Adam Smiarowski.
"An employee, Shane Alexander, let me know about the theft on Saturday afternoon right after it happened,” Smiarowski said. “He said that a $1300 Elektron tabletop analog synthesizer had been stolen. He said he was working on the pedal case and another employee was on the loading dock with the mail carrier when the theft occurred."
"The thief was in the store for about an hour before Shane saw him leaving in too much of a hurry," Smiarowski said. "When Shane realized what had happened, he ran after him only to see him in his car speeding off. He wasn't able to get a license plate but he described the car as a small white sedan. He described the thief as a very tall guy of at least 6'4" in his late 20s."
After notifying Smiarowski of the theft, Alexander and another employee looked at video footage from the ten security cameras in the store to get a still image of the perpetrator. No one who works at the store recognized him but one customer did after seeing the surveillance image posted in the store on Sunday. The customer claims to be friends with the parents of the suspect and shared specific information with store employees.
Smiarowski does not want to share the name of the customer or the possible name of the suspect at this time. He would only say that it appears to be a solid lead.
A police report was filed with the National City Police Department.
Smiarowski said Pitbull Audio has been at their current location for a year. At their prior location (a block away), a far worse incident happened in the summer of 2014.
"The robbers threw a female employee in the bathroom and ransacked the store while robbing it,” Smiarowski said. “They dropped a microphone on the way out. This was before we had cameras, so no one was ever caught."
UPDATE 12/21, 4:25 p.m.
A reliable source says that the equipment has been returned and the perpetrator apologized. (Photo subsequently blurred.)