Recent reports show crime is increasing in Kern County. Some local musicians say they are a big target of theft in the area. They say people are stealing instruments from concert venues, cars and even their homes.
Local musician, Steve James, has played the harmonica since he was a kid.
"My dad put a harp in my hand and I've been messing with them ever since," said James.
That was put on hold with the recent theft of his instruments.
Playing the harmonica isn't only a hobby for James, it also provides an income. James said, "If I don't have them I can't play and I need the money."
He said he's just one of many local musicians who've been a target of theft in the last year.
In many cases, including this one, stolen items are taken to pawn shops.
A.M. Griffin and Sons General Manager, Christian Espejo said there are some ways to ensure your items are identifiable if they are stolen.
Espejo said, "What we recommend for the public is to keep a item list, serial numbers of stuff that they own, so if they do get it stolen they have proof of what, you know, of what they had."
If an item doesn't have a serial number, or a way to identify it, Espejo says it's up to the individual to contact law enforcement.
"They need to go town to the pd or sheriff's department, file a police report you know, hey our items are here at this pawn shop and they are stolen," said Espejo.
James said pawn shops should have more accountability for the property they sell. "I would just like to see more involvement with the stuff going on because it needs to slow down," said James.
Espejo said there is only so much they can do. "We follow the laws, we follow the procedures, the way the state, the Justice Department and the local authorities, you know, because of us, they recovered their items, you know so we actually did our jobs for them to get their items so they should be grateful for that," said Espejo.
Espejo said they ask the person who is claiming the stolen property to reimburse them for the price they paid for it. James paid $50 to get his harmonicas back. Other local artists helped raise money to help James with the cost.