A man is facing criminal charges after police arrested him while he was approaching a downtown Montreal music store with a guitar that was stolen in the Sunday night looting. The 20-year-old claims he was on his way to the store to return the instrument, according to the Montreal Gazette.
Const. Jean-Pierre Brabant, a spokesperson for the Montreal police said they apprehended the man on Tuesday afternoon at an intersection in Downtown Montreal. The man was recognized by a South Shore officer who reportedly saw a photo of a Steve’s Music Store looter. The looting took place on Ste-Catherine St. E. after peaceful a peaceful protest turned violent on Sunday night.
The protest was held after the death of George Floyd to show solidarity with the United States protests.
A photo of the man was published on Monday in the Journal de Montreal. It showed him carrying two guitars and wearing a mask while leaving the store. One of the guitars was blue with a unique shape to it.
Brabant noted that police recognized the man after seeing the unique guitar in his hand.
He was released and is set to make a court appearance at a later date. Brabant said he is being charged with theft under $5,000, breaking and entering as well as possession of stolen goods. Court records show that the man was previously arrested in 2017 by the Regie intermunicipale de police Roussillon in a case that allegedly involved conjugal violence. He was acquitted but found guilty of mischief—receiving two years of probation last year on Sept. 4.
A Steve’s Music Store manager named Jason Hart said he was told by police that an apology note was attached to the guitar.
“But, unfortunately, he didn’t bring back the other one,” Hart joked.
Hart added that the store was still checking inventory to find out how many items were stolen on Sunday. Hart was asked how many guitars he thought were stolen and responded saying, “I’m not sure yet. Let’s say enough.”
He noted that police have already returned 20 guitars though eleven were broken. Footage from Sunday night shows people using the instruments to break windows at the music store and surrounding businesses. Hart said there was not much damage inside the store.
“We were able to open on Tuesday,” he said, adding that people will be in the store “as a deterrent” on Sunday when another protest is planned.