Warrant issued for suspect in theft of 'priceless' guitars from 54-40
Published Friday, January 18, 2019 2:52PM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 18, 2019 6:44PM PST
An arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected in the theft of seven "priceless" guitars from local rock band 54-40, police say.
Documents filed in court by New Westminster police say Yannick Lepage, 39, was the tenant of the Surrey storage locker where five of the seven guitars were found last fall.
Lepage can also be seen on surveillance footage carting what looks like guitar cases, the documents say.
“We’ve been to a number of addresses looking for him," Staff-Sgt. Stuart Jette told CTV News. "As recently as last week we had someone attend a residence in the Fraser Valley but (we) have been unsuccessful so far trying to find him. We’re still looking."
It's not the first time Lepage has been publicly called out by police – in December, he appeared on the Surrey RCMP's "naughty list."
The guitars were stolen from the back of a truck outside the Queen’s Park Care Centre On Oct. 5, before 54-40 was slated to do back-to-back shows.
Guitarist Dave Genn called one the “fire breathing dragon”, and another “irreplaceable” at the time. The band offered a $5,000 reward for any information to find them.
The next day, according to the documents, the New Westminster Police Department got a tip pointing them to a self-storage facility on 104 Avenue in Surrey.
“I viewed the CCTV and observed multiple people rolling in 5 large guitar cases…some of them matched the description,” wrote NWPD Const. Eric Blower in the document.
Police gained access to the locker, where they found five of the seven guitars.
The band was relieved – and said they’d keep playing with them despite the risk.
“These instruments were made to be played, as opposed to locked away in a safe somewhere,” said Genn at the time.
The two guitars that are still out there are a Gibson Dove Acoustic and a Gibson SJ200 Acoustic.
Even as New Westminster police were hunting for Lepage, Surrey RCMP were looking for him for two alleged breaches of probation and an accusation of driving while prohibited. That led to his inclusion on its 10-person "naughty list."
Lepage has a number of convictions involving possession of stolen property, mischief and theft in 19 criminal files going back to 1998, according to records.
On his Facebook page, Lepage appears to acknowledge some of his time served: in one post, he writes, “16 days left of house arrest look out LOL.”
CTV News reached out to Lepage but didn’t hear back from him.