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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington man arrested for stealing 8 guitars from deceased friend

A Bloomington man was arrested Friday on a number of potential charges, including theft and failure to report a dead body, after allegedly stealing eight guitars from his deceased friend’s home.

Gabriel Rivera, 45, faces felony charges of theft, dealing marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance, and a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a dead body.

He was booked into the Monroe County Jail and was later released after paying bail.

Rivera’s friend, 62-year-old Rickey Kinser, died of natural causes in his own home Feb. 29, Bloomington Police Department Lt. Brad Seifers said.

That same day, neighbors said they saw Rivera at Kinser’s house before the death was reported, they told police.

Rivera claimed he called the Monroe County Coroner’s Office to report Kinser’s death that day, Monroe County First Deputy Prosecutor Jeffrey Kehr said. However, he later admitted that wasn't true.

On March 4, Kinser’s family reported there were several missing items from Kinser’s residence, including eight guitars — of brands such as Fender, Gibson and Taylor — and a bass amplifier.

BPD authorities obtained a warrant to search Rivera’s home on Cory Lane in Bloomington.

Seifers said Rivera called the Monroe County Coroner’s Office to report Kinser’s death that day.

Knowing Rivera had called the coroner to report the death, BPD authorities obtained a warrant to search Rivera’s home on Cory Lane in Bloomington.

They found the guitars and amplifier, in addition to about 10 live marijuana plants, Seifers said.

Rivera was arrested shortly before 7 p.m. Friday. In a statement to police, Rivera said Kinser had told him he wanted him to have all of the items.

The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office has until Friday to file a charging decision on the case, Kehr said.

Rivera is scheduled to appear in court for an initial hearing Friday.

Due to the pending nature of the case, Kehr was not able to comment further on Rivera’s potential charges.

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