A frame from a surveillance video shows the alleged thief eying the guitar at Jamian’s. (Click to enlarge)

Do you know this guy?

dale-guitarDale Lakata with her guitar shortly before it was swiped. (Click to enlarge)

Mr. Flip Flops, wandering into the basement at Jamian’s Food & Drink on Monmouth Street in Red Bank early Monday morning, apparently decided on the spot that he deserved Dale Lakata‘s acoustic guitar more than she did.

So he stole it.

One possible problem for Mr. Flip Flops is that he did his plucking in front of a video surveillance camera.

According to bar owner Jamian Laviola, the thief picked up the guitar, stepped away with it for a few minutes, put it back for unknown reasons, and then returned to finally steal it, apparently having figured out how he’d make his exit. Laviola won’t say how, for security reasons.

One thing’s for sure: he didn’t walk out through the front door.

Lakata was upstairs at the time. She’s a regular at the Sunday night open mic, occasions on which musicians and their gear sprawl out over the main bar/restaurant floor as well as the basement, where the restrooms are. She’d played earlier that night.

“There’s no way he would have gotten away with it” had he tried to slip through the upstairs crowd, Laviola tells redbankgreen.

Laviola was unable to provide a copy of the surveillance video, but gave us a frame that he says is the best shot of thief’s face.

The photo has also made its way around on Facebook, as the open-mic crowd and Lakata’s friends have rallied to help her get the guitar back. Her pals have quite a lot to say about the thief, little of it is reprintable here without resorting to gratuitous use of profanity.

We were unable to reach Lakata or borough police for comment.