Police seek guitars stolen from band prior to Phoenix show

PHOENIX (AP/FOX 10) - Police are turning to the public for help in locating two guitars stolen from a heavy metal band when they were in Phoenix earlier this month.

Authorities said Wednesday that three men have been arrested in connection with the burglary of Lamb of God's guitars.

Sgt. Vince Lewis says 62-year-old William Widener, 51-year-old Michael Blakeslee and 34-year-old Justin Petersen face charges of theft and trafficking in stolen property. The guitars were taken from a trailer at Ak-Chin Pavilion between midnight and 4:30 a.m. on May 2.

Guitarist Will Adler posted on Instagram after the theft that a one-of-a-kind bass and his "beloved Warbird" guitar had been taken.

While these unique guitars may be worth more than $10,000 each, Lara Goldfarb with Glendale Pawn and Jewelry says anyone will have a tough time reselling them, especially to a reputable pawn shop.

"It's not like you sell something and I can sell it to a third person an hour later," Goldfarb said. "Anything that's sold has to be held for 28 days before it can go out for sale."

According to a police report, a pawn shop was contacted by suspect William Widner, trying to sell the Warbird guitar for only $350 because he needed the money. But he was turned away because the pawn suspected it was stolen. The manager at Glendale Pawn and Jewelry says she hasn't been contacted by any of the suspects but doubts they're in the hands of any pawn shop.

"Every pawn ship in the state has to submit everything they take to the police department on a daily basis," Goldfarb said. "We upload everything into our software database along with photographs of the time [and] all of the person's information that brought it in. It [then] gets submitted to the police department so they can match it was stolen."

Police have yet to track down the guitars but say one of the guitars was also spotted for sale on an online app.

"Assuming those individuals have been able to sell something at a pawnshop, the police likely would've found it very quickly," Goldfarb said.

Meanwhile, fans of Lamb of God have been posting messages of support and sympathy, saying they hope these guitars are recovered soon.

We've also reached out to the Ak-Chin Pavilion, but they've declined to comment. If you know anything about this case, Phoenix Police urge you to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.