When Robert MacManus, owner of Northcote guitar store Sonic Rendezvous, walked into his shop this past Saturday morning, he immediately knew something was wrong.
Two of the prized guitars that usually hung on the back wall weren’t there.
“I looked to the left where there’s more guitars and noticed more guitars were gone. Then it clicked,” he says. “I was like, ‘oh man, I’ve been robbed’”.
Gear stolen from Sonic Rendezvous
- 1970 Gibson SG Custom
- 1976 Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold Top
- 2000s era Fender Jazz Bass, black
- 1970s Rickenbacker 4001, Sunburst
- 2000s Fender Hotrod Deluxe/cream limited edition
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The night before, on Friday January 20, thieves smashed the store’s back window and stole around $25000 worth of equipment, including four guitars, an amp, rare Metallica records and $100 cash out of the register. One of the guitars that was taken was a 1970 Gibson SG Custom, worth around $10000.
The robbery has been a big blow to the small business, which just opened in 2022.
“I started conceiving the shop over Covid. Ironically, I opened it on April Fool’s Day, April first,” says MacManus.
“I only had enough money just to get the shop open and running. And it sucks, it’s like, the shop’s just now starting to hit its stride and starting to do well.”
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Although he hasn’t heard anything from the police so far, he is still holding out hope that the gear will be retrieved when the thieves try to sell it.
“I know a lot of people in the guitar community, so they’re all keeping an eye out for the guitars and everything.”
MacManus says the robbery at Sonic Rendezvous follows a similar crime six months ago, when thieves threw a brick through the window of a neighbouring High street guitar shop and made off with valuable equipment.
“It’s probably the same people, so with any luck if they catch these guys they can pin them to that crime and maybe a string of others – who knows?” he says.
Anyone who knows any information on the robbery or comes across the stolen gear is urged to contact Constable Elliot Morse at the Northcote Police Station or to get in touch with MacManus himself.
Show your support by visiting Sonic Rendezvous at 513 High street in Northcore, or check out their page here.