A local musician is asking for the public’s help after $30,000 worth of equipment, including vintage guitars and amplifiers, were stolen from his Belmont Shore garage early Tuesday morning.
“It’s like somebody stripped me and threw me out on the street,” said Dean Grech, a jazz guitarist.
Grech believes the burglary happened at about 5:00AM on Tuesday, January 3 at his home on the 100 block of Claremont Avenue. Footage from a neighbor’s security camera captured a man on a bicycle with a backpack looking into Grech’s garage that may have been left accidentally open. Within the next hour or so, Grech said the suspect was seen going back and forth, taking the equipment.
A screenshot from a security camera shows the possible burglary suspect. Photo courtesy of Dean Grech.
About 30 items were stolen, Grech said, including guitars, amplifiers, microphones, cables, pedalboards, guitar pedals and two PA systems.
“The four of them [guitars], my amps, they are all my best stuff, he got everything,” Grech said. “He’s cut both of my legs and arms off. It’s sentimental. It's years of putting it together so it works right for you. It’s how I make my living.”
Grech said he has lived in that house for 25 years but recently remodeled it to have a garage in which to store his car, which has been broken into a few times in the past. He was moving things in the house the night of the burglary and believed that after the last load he probably either did not close the garage door or it was somehow bumped open. He didn’t notice his equipment had gone missing until he woke up later that morning.
“He [the suspect] saw the opportunity and it was just the perfect storm,” Grech said. “Everything was open. I fell asleep. I was so tired I took sleeping pills because I was exhausted.”
Grech said he has been scouring pawn shops in hopes of finding any of his equipment and has posted photos of his missing items on Facebook with the hope that somebody will stumble across some of them.
In the meantime, Grech said he will continue to perform. As for the issue of theft in Belmont Shore, Grech said “it’s getting worse” with neighbors complaining of getting packages and bikes stolen—Grech himself has had five bikes stolen—and hopes police can do more patrolling in streets.
“Every one of my neighbors has had stuff stolen, every single one of them,” Grech said. “Everyone is just ready to walk down the alley with baseball bats. We’re done with it.”
No suspect description is available, according to Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) spokeswoman Marlene Arrona.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call LBPD Burglary detectives at (562) 570-7351.