A major burglary has crippled one of Oregon’s most well-known and beloved nonprofits; then came hope… followed by disappointment
Beginning on Sunday, February 20, when a public storage facility at 1620 NESandy Boulevard was robbed, it was weeks of ‘downs’, a ‘up’, and then another big ‘down’ for those giving their time for the non-profit Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHoF).
The organization rented one of the large lockers there, and they discovered on that date that a considerable amount of souvenirs, dozens of valuable guitars and other memorabilia had been stolen.
“It was a real blow to us when 70 autographed guitars were stolen from the storage unit,” said Janeen Rundle, Hall of Fame co-founder and director of education and education. The purpose of the annual ceremony and concert at the Aladdin Theater in Brooklyn is to raise funds to fund music education in Oregon.
“These guitars have been autographed by famous musicians and auctioned off to raise funds for our music education and scholarship programs,” Rundle continued. “They included guitars signed by The Monkees, George Clinton, Lucinda Williams, Arlo Guthrie and Portugal The Man. There were also guitars signed by each of our annual Hall of Fame inductees, to be displayed at the Oregon Music Hall in the Youth Music Project. of Fame permanent exhibit at West Linn.”
Although the nonprofit’s main fundraiser and annual induction ceremony at Brooklyn’s Aladdin Theater doesn’t take place until Oct. 8, its volunteers have worked hard to offer replacement guitars for auction during the event – and, at the same time, hoping that the stolen guitars would be found by the police.
“The money we raise at our annual ceremony and concert funds at least four scholarships for college-bound students, as well as payment for our ‘Music in Schools Program’ which organizes musical assemblies at K-8 schools across the state of Oregon that do not offer music education,” Rundle explained — adding that, since 2007, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame has awarded 63 music scholarships, for a total of $115,500.
Police announce burglary suspect
On Tuesday, March 15, the Portland Police Bureau announced that after weeks of “thorough investigation”, their Central Precint Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) had developed information about a burglary suspect on the case. , and that earlier in the day they had requested, and were granted, a warrant to search a residence in Fairview, east of Gresham, and two storage units in Gresham.
There, officers recovered several hundred items believed to have been stolen, many of them guitars – and they had learned of a third location in Damascus which apparently contained other stolen items, including 30 guitars and nearly of two dozen musical items, including posters, photos and signed album covers, which police said must belong to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
Eric Michael Lamberton, 40, was arrested. He was taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 9.02am for first-degree burglary and first-degree aggravated robbery – with additional charges expected as the investigation continues. He was also facing numerous charges associated with other cases, including the theft of a piece of industrial equipment worth $20,000, which the owner had identified as his. Currently, Lamberton is housed at the MCDC in lieu of a combined bond of $148,000, but he is not currently charged with the theft of the guitars and musical memorabilia.
Then a disappointment
This turn of events came after Rundle and others in the Hall of Fame examined the treasure trove of recovered musical memorabilia. Rundle told THE BEE: “We had high hopes, but none of this was ours.” Police were stunned by the news as no similar major thefts of guitars and musical memorabilia have been reported in the North West so far. The Hall of Fame is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of stolen guitars and other items.
Or, you can submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Oregon, and possibly receive an additional reward of up to $2,500 cash for information; go to their website – www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=823#.
In the meantime, for more information on the non-profit Oregon Music Hall of Fame, here is their website – www.omhof.org
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