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Limited-edition Eddie Van Halen guitar recovered from instrument thieves

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Three-part harmony it wasn’t for a trio accused of substituting marked-down price labels on expensive instruments, including a limited edition replica of Eddie Van Halen’s white-striped “Frankenstein” guitar, possibly for future sale.


Detectives named that tune after an online supplier reported the theft of nearly $55,000 worth of musical equipment, including one of only 100 special-edition EVH Fenders,
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli told CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM .

The “Frankenstein” replicas fetched upwards of $25,000 online but cost the accused conspirators considerably less.

EVH & “Frankenstein”

Investigators discovered that the shipping supervisor at American Musical Supply in Midland Park was working “in concert” with a friend who, posing as a customer, “placed orders for certain low-priced items,” Molinelli said.

The manager then substituted higher-end instruments, had them packaged, then swapped pricing labels before sending them out, the prosecutor said.

The friend, a musician and computer tech named Richard Rodriguez, then “paid for the less expensive item and actually received items worth substantially more money,” he said.

Detectives from Molinelli’s office and the Midland Park Police Department recovered a large inventory of stolen items from Rodriguez’s home in Woodland Park, the prosecutor said.

The shipper supervisor, Jeronimo Frutero, of Clifton, who turns 34 next Wednesday, is charged with fencing stolen goods.

Rodriguez, 44, is charged with receiving stolen property.

A third man, Michael Nuzzo, a 40-year-old Bank of New York employee from Montclair, is also charged with receiving stolen property, Molinelli said.

All three have appearances scheduled for Tuesday morning in Superior Court in Hackensack.

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