Two men were arrested Tuesday near Santa Cruz after trying to sell three valuable custom guitars reported stolen from a business in Modesto, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.
James Dermates, 48, and Anthony Dalglish, 49, both of Merced County, were arrested on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property at about 3:26 p.m. Tuesday before the sale could go through, sheriff's Deputy Ryan Kennedy said.
The men are suspected of possessing three custom-made Gatewood guitars, worth about $9,000, that a businessman in Modesto had reported stolen in July to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office, Kennedy said.
"They were very high end guitars, that's why they were noteworthy," Kennedy said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a man from the Live Oak area in Santa Cruz County started talking by phone to Dermates, who called him about selling him three Gatewood guitars, according to Kennedy.
The Live Oak man became suspicious that the guitars might have been stolen and started asking people he knew in the music community about the guitars, which have very distinctive characteristics, Kennedy said.
According to Kennedy, someone referred the Live Oak man to a man in Modesto who said that the guitars were similar to ones stolen in a burglary at his place of business in July.
The Live Oak man notified Santa Cruz County deputies about a meeting set at his home in the 900 block of 17th Street in Live Oak with a man offering to sell guitars and deputies arranged to meet them there, Kennedy said.
When the suspects showed up at the residence with the guitars, deputies approached Dermates and Dalglish and soon determined the men had the stolen Gatewoods, Kennedy said.
In addition to suspicion of possession of stolen property, deputies arrested Dalglish on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, Kennedy said.
Deputies booked Dermates and Dalglish into the Santa Cruz County Jail in Santa Cruz and the two men were each released on a bond of $5,000, Kennedy said.
Kennedy described the Live Oak man as a "good Samaritan" and urged the public to report items available for sale that they believe may have been stolen.