The Phoenix Police Department apprehended three suspects in connection with the theft of priceless guitars stolen from Lamb of God on Thursday, May 2nd, at Ak-Chin Pavilion. Justin Petersen, 34, Michael Blakeslee, 51, and William Widener, 62, are in custody after two were arrested on May 8th and another another the next day.
The guitars went missing from the band’s trailer during setup for the first show of their spring tour with Slayer. “ATTENTION ALL…and particularly in the Phoenix area,” Willie Adler wrote in an Instagram post. “My main beloved Warbird, along with [John Cambpell’s] one of kind hand painted bass; were stolen early Thursday morning from @akchin.pavilion in Phoenix.”
He continued: “The pieces of shit that did this are suspected to be employed by @akchin.pavilion. local hands that were working Wednesday, our tour production day. Apparently, they waited around for all to leave, and made their way into the back of our semi to commit this felony. AGAIN..under the watch of @akchin.pavilion and their security. Karma is a f*ckin bitch…”
Unfortunately, the instruments remain missing. The PRP reported that one of Adler’s guitars was posted on online retail site OfferUp — even including Adler’s namer in the listing, which was unfortunately removed before a fan in disguise under the name “Jay Thrash” almost snagged it, per the Phoenix New Times. One of the guitars was also taken to a pawn shop, but the seller was turned away by staff.
“The more we release, the harder it becomes to catch up with a suspect or locate these items before either go underground or into the wind,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Vince Lewis said, confirming the authenticity of the guitar on OfferUp.
The venue, whose employees Adler accused, said they are “cooperating fully with local law enforcement.”
Anyone with information or leads on the theft can contact Silent Witness at 480-W-I-T-N-E-S-S or 480-T-E-S-T-I-G-O in Spanish with a possible reward of up to $1,000.