The St. Paul guitar store that has seen many stars stop by to make a buy became the target of thieves during Tuesday night's storm, who made off with some rare vintage instruments.
Sheryl Crow is one of the many famous regulars at Willie's Guitars in St. Paul, where the owner was holding a baby blue electric guitar for her -- but some brazen burglars beat her to the punch.
For the past 25 years, anyone who is anyone in the music business has come to Willie's Guitars while in town, from Green Day and the Black Keys to Lyle Lovett, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Eric Clapton. Yet, the some of the shops most recent visitors left owner Nate Westgor heartbroken.
"We are missing a lot of Rickenbacker guitars," he said, adding that one of those was supposed to go to Crow.
More than a dozen vintage instruments were stolen in what officials may believe is a multi-state theft ring based out of Chicago.
"They grabbed what they could, while they could," Westgor said. "Missed police by seconds."
Westgor estimates that the 14 guitars the thieves made off with are worth about $15,000.
"Those guitars -- some of them are very rare," he said.
But he wasn't the only victim on that stormy Tuesday. In fact, he believes the same organized group targeted Guitar Rodeo in Minneapolis just a few minutes later, clearing out the showroom and stealing $100,000 in new guitars.
"He lost more than I did," Westgor admitted. "They took lots of stuff."
Westgor suspects that whoever stole the guitars will try to fence them, which should make it easier for police to corral the thieves.
"It's not comforting, but I'm not really worried because they'll be really hard to sell," he said. "They are hotter than normal."
Though he is disappointed by the break-in, he hopes it's nothing to fret over.
"Life goes on," Westgor said. "I have high hopes things will come around."
All the stolen guitars have serial numbers, and both store owners plan to post pictures of the stolen instruments online.