Mike Miltimore, the man behind the legendary Riversong Guitars, has made a public plea to the person who broke into his headquarters and stole a laptop with valuable information.
Miltimore has been preparing for an industry trade show in California, one of the biggest trade shows in the global music retail industry Jan. 16 to 19. He says the laptop, a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, contained the company’s catalogues, photos of their products, production information, ads, website information and other content to be used at the trade show.
The theft happened at about 5:40 a.m. today Dec. 27 at the Riversong Guitars Factory at 450 Lorne Street. When Miltimore heard of the intrusion, he didn’t think the MacBook was the first thing on the thief’s mind.
“When we heard that we were broken into, all I was thinking is, ‘Not the new guitars, not the new ones we’re coming out with.'”
Miltimore created his first electric guitar and a new acoustic guitar to showcase at the trade show. Although he hasn’t lost his main showpieces for the show, he says the information on the computer will take a long time to replace and put the company behind.
“This is an information theft, but I don’t think it’s a targeted thing like, ‘hey, let’s steal Riversong’s catalogue because it’s going to cripple them at their trade show,’” Miltimore says. “They walked by lots of multi-thousand dollar guitars. That being said, an expensive or a unique guitar is difficult to sell because people ask questions and we’re the source of it.”
Credit: FACEBOOK / Mike Miltimore
Despite the setback, Miltimore only wants the computer back and is offering whoever took it more than the resale price, or another used MacBook for them to have.
“I think you just steal things because you need some money or need something, I guess,” Miltimore says. “If they’re after computers, I have other computers I’d rather them have than this one.”
Miltimore says the building didn’t sustain much damage and assumes the thief was startled by the alarm, as they left a mess of documents and desk items on the floor. A pair of expensive headphones were broken during the incident, but Miltimore hasn’t yet checked other items for damage, such as a large monitor that was knocked over.
He says the MacBook has been backed up but isn’t sure when, and he believes that the new work done for the trade show hasn’t been backed up anywhere else.
Miltimore says a forensics team stopped by the factory to dust for fingerprints and he says they will look further into the theft once the marketing manager arrives. He says the computer is password protected and they will try to use the Find My MacBook app to locate it, but he hopes to have a chance to speak with the thief.
“I’d love to even chat with them about their situation, maybe there’s something we could do to help them,” Miltimore says. “I try to put myself into other people’s perspective, you have to be in a really desperate space to break in and risk getting caught.”
Although this is the first time Miltimore has had information stolen, he is no stranger to break-ins from people with sticky fingers.
“Our family has been in the music industry with Lee’s Music for 40 plus years and we’ve had people break in through heating ducts, smash windows, we had the one guy one I believe once who broke into a window that was 15 feet in the air, he had to a steal a ladder from our neighbour's place and then couldn’t get out of the building once he got in.”
Miltimore will exchange the MacBook or give a finders fee if it is returned, with no questions asked. If you know who has the computer, Miltimore asks you to call him at 250-319-5050.
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