Manitoba

The bass is back: Pawn shop reunites Times Change(d) owner with stolen guitar

The owner of a beloved local music venue has his prized bass back thanks to the quick thinking of a Winnipeg pawn shop manager.

John Scoles's prized Fender Precision was stolen last week

Times Change(d) owner John Scoles posted this photo of himself with his prized Fender 1957 Precision Reissue bass guitar after it was stolen last week. (Jenny Ramone)

The owner of an iconic local music venue has his beloved bass back thanks to the quick thinking of a Winnipeg pawn shop manager.

Last week, Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club owner John Scoles posted on Facebook that someone had broken into the back space behind the venue and grabbed his Fender 1957 Precision Reissue bass guitar.

On Thursday, Scoles posted that he had recovered it after Roger Turenne, manager of Economy Pawn on Main Street, recognized it when it came into his store.

"I had a customer come in and wanted to pawn a bass and I take it out, I'm looking at it, and I'm going, 'I think I know this bass,'" Turenne said during an interview with Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Manitoba's afternoon radio show Up to Speed.

"I've seen him play it before."

Turenne pulled up the picture of Scoles playing the bass and showed it to the customer, who said he had purchased the bass from someone for $20.

"I say, 'You can't leave with it. And if it comes worst to worse, I'll phone the police.' But he says, 'No, you give it back to the owner,'" said Turenne.

Scoles thanked Turenne in a Facebook post, with a picture of the now-recovered bass.

"How's about a nice round of applause for the courage and quick thinking by Roger Turenne at Economy Pawn! And thanks to all who helped get the word out on the street," Scoles wrote.

Turenne always asks people questions when they bring items in, and if he doesn't think someone is the legitimate owner, he won't accept it, he said.

He is also required by law to submit the make, model and serial number of every item to police.

To help improve the odds of recovering any stolen property, Turenne advises people to take digital photos of everything they own, including the serial numbers.

If the item's stolen, the police service's pawn detail can check serial numbers in its database, which includes items entered by pawn shop owners.

With files from Ismaila Alfa

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