Smash & grab at historic Fresno music business

FRESNO, Calif.

"Shocking, but yet people who have merchandise know they're a potential target," said American Music Co. owner Tim McFarland.

Smash and grab burglars struck Friday morning at his business.

The store has been at its Ashlan and Fresno location for 33 years.

This is only the second time this type of crime has happened.

The business was boarded up Friday night to keep burglars away.

Hours earlier, a burglar got in by driving a vehicle up the curb, and into the door.

They broke a lot of glass and took off with a lot of musical equipment.

Lying sideways on the ground, the door to American Music Co. is not where it's supposed to be, and its glass is all gone.

Inside the business, empty guitar racks explain the smashed door.

Burglars broke in Friday and targeted musical instruments and equipment.

"There was enough, you know, somebody could have their own band, times three or four," McFarland said.

For McFarland, the crime is an encore, 33 years in the making.

Smash and grab burglars hit this store once before, not long after he opened it in 1980.

Tempered glass and metal bars have kept crooks out for the most part since then, but McFarland knew this day could come.

"There's a lot of people who will take advantage of a situation, you know, testing points of entry and sooner or later it may happen if you have items that are visible," he said.

Employees tried to get back to the music business as usual Friday.

But the sounds of repair crews and police sometimes made it a crowded house.

It took officers more than two hours to respond to a burglary report from the alarm company, but detectives are already working on leads from possible witnesses.

The method of entry is the first obvious clue.

"That leads us to believe somebody was thinking about what they were going to do," said Lt. Don Gross. "They've obviously planned this."

McFarland, though, says the crooks grabbed several items that'll be extremely hard to sell.

So, their plan may not end on a high note.

For now, employees have moved all the instruments and equipment to other locations so burglars won't find anything inside.

The business should have a new security system within a couple days.

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