It finally happened to me. I've feared it ever since I began aquiring expensive equipment. It down right sucks, violates you, and haunts you for days afterward. My house was burglarized.....
Exactly one month ago I came home late at night from a shitty day at work to find my front door unlocked and security alarm disarmed. The more I investigated, I found my mac laptop, schecter hellraiser, and presciption meds missing. It was a small but hard hit. The security log showed the front door opened 3:26pm, alarm disarmed 3:26pm, and front door shut 3:26pm....... Thats right. They knew my security code and in One minute they got $2000 from me. I was sick. Literally sick. It was my own fault. I didn't use the dead bolt and I didn't change my security code after a bad split with a female 7 months prior. I'm a dumbass.
I did one thing right tho. I had serial numbers. For years I've carried all my gear model/make and serial numbers in my wallet. Just for this very reason. I made my police report and provided them with everything I possibly could about the situation. I was told upfront by a fantastic Officer to be proactive. Call every pawn shop. Creep craigslist. Creep facebook. And creep any used music gear website in the area. It'll be days before an investigator gets to my case and submits my serial numbers into the leads data base. And most importantly to keep my mouth shut and do not speak to, threaten, or retaliate against my ex. They'll handle that part.
So I did just that. I didn't tip her off that I knew who did it. For 20 days I crept the internet. Looking everywhere I possibly could for my stolen computer and guitar. Sometimes 3 or 4 hours at a time I would search. On the 20th day I expected the same results. Nothing new to see.... my gear is gone. But I found a promising result on guitar center's used gear page. It had posted that day and in East Texas Schecter hellraisers are rare. Especially discontinued special editions. It was 50 min away at a newly opened guitar center.
The next morning I was there when they unlocked the front doors. I had my case number and serial number on a PD business card. I quick scan of the wall and I found it. Sure enough it was mine. I informed the store manager of the situation and he promptly removed it from display, put it on no purchase lay away, and printed out the receipt of the initial exchange. They had a State ID and signature from the seller. The police followed behind me 1 hr later and collected the evidence.
I was determined, persistent, and stupid in this event.
Knowing my serial numbers got my guitar back and caught the criminal redhanded. Guitar Center didn't even question me when I showed them serial numbers and a case number. I have not found my laptop but still look every night. My guitar is sitting at the station as evidence awaiting a felony burglary trial.
Please learn from my mistakes and the one thing that helped me out of an unfortunate event...... Serial numbers.
Gibson LP Classic HP
Schecter LE Hellraiser C-1
Schecter KM-7
Peavey 6505+
Line 6 Wireless G50> Boss TU-3> Dunlop Orignal Crybaby> Ibanez TS-9> MXR Smart Gate> Digitech Turbo Flange> MXR Black Label Chorus> MXR Carbon Copy
Look at the bright side - now you have a good excuse to buy a real computer!

Also, I pity the poor guy who tries to rob my apartment, that would be depressing as hell for them.
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*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here