Is this your (stolen) CD collection?

If you’ve visited this blog before then you may have heard the following story. Namely, a few years ago I purchased two 500-CD lots from independent record stores. On both occasions I thought I’d first enrich my music collection and then make a killing on eBay by flogging off those items I didn’t want — but it turns out I didn’t make very much at all by selling CDs for 99 cents each (also, there was a reason why all those CDs were selling so cheap in the first place).
So I promised myself I’d never do it again. I resisted. For a while anyway. Yet despite my best intentions I recently fell foul of temptation a third time, albeit on a smaller scale. This time it wasn’t a lot of CDs from a record store, but someone’s privately owned (and no doubt once highly cherished) heavy metal music collection.
I came across the below just the other day while having a sticky beak into what looked like a recently opened pawn shop. I walked in and sitting right there on the counter, amongst the overpriced audio-recording gear and sporting implements, was what you see here. It was labelled “heavy metal collection” and after a quick flick through I realised this was no ordinary run-of-the-mill heavy metal CD collection. No, this was someone’s classic death metal, black metal, grindcore and Australian heavy metal collection, painstakingly put together, I estimate, from some time in the mid to late 1990s up to the early 2000s. It was packed with classic items, most of which I don’t own, and it was for sale. Right there. On the shop counter.

A treasure? Or someone's stolen treasure.

I asked the pawn shop sellers how much for the lot and after agreeing on a price I picked it up the next day and proudly posted photos of it on Facebook.
I should mention that the pawn shop accepted cash only (“They want to charge me 17 per cent for EFTPOS,” one of them said). Then when I enquired as to how this collection came to be up for sale I was told something along the lines of the original owner passing it on to another family member, or somesuch, who in turn did not want his offspring to be exposed to “that kind of music”.
At the time it seemed like a vaguely plausible explanation, but after sharing photos of my find with my friends I got a little suspicious.
“Might be worth checking some forums to see if anyone had their collection stolen. Kinda odd it’s not been sorted and still in racks!” said one person, adding “I wouldn’t advertise it as some douche will probably try and claim it. But just scan to see?”
“There are pretty good laws in place that second-hand stores have to follow about cataloguing and holding onto things for a set time first. If the owner’s gone to the cops there is a paper trail,” said another. “Hmmm…” I thought.
As a heavy metal lover and passionate collector of CDs, vinyl, and gimmicky merch, I sincerely understand what a collection like this means — or at least meant at some point — to its owner. More to the point, I myself was burgled two or so years ago and while the stolen laptop and DJ CD decks were easily replaced, the bile-inducing anger that is the thought of someone breaking into your house was much harder to forget. Fact is, I would be mortified if I discovered I was in possession of someone’s stolen treasure.

There are a relatively small number of people in Melbourne who love the sort of music found in this collection: death, doom, black, grind and generally more heavy and extreme Aussie metal (Portal anyone?). It’s also quite probable that, if this were a stolen heavy metal music collection, the owner would have vented about it online and sought help.
So I’d be extraordinarily grateful if you could help me establish that it really isn’t stolen. Starting with this question: is this your stolen music collection? I hope it isn’t. Do you know anyone who has had their heavy metal collection stolen? Again, I hope not. But if you do, maybe ask them to have a look here.

Help me make sure it’s legit. And if it is stolen, nothing would make me happier to return it to its rightful owner.

Note: The size of the above photo has been deliberately reduced to make the titles on the CD spines harder to read. I’ve also added several “decoy” CDs — items from my personal collection which had no relationship to the original find. If this is a stolen music collection and the genuine owner can be identified, he or she will know exactly which items *don't* belong here. Sorry folks, but this is to ward off any scammers.


  1. they are all mine cept the britney spears.
    i want em back or u wil get tha megadeath

  2. no one i know. but excellent work sir. highly commendable. wish there were more like you out there. 3 hurrahs i shout for you sir.

  3. Hello, just came across your blog as this post went a bit viral. I hope this collection returns to its rightful home!

    I hope you don't mind me asking, but I have been searching for an out-of-print Australian CD and have had no luck digging all over the internet. It's Ransom Note: The Best of Dear Enemy. If you have any suggestions on how to find it, I'd be extremely grateful! I know this is not the right venue for this sort of thing, but like I said, I've searched and searched with no results. Thanks a ton! -R

    1. Hey mate,

      Thanks for your interest. No luck with that item I'm afraid but I'll keep an eye out.

  4. I've tweeted this and Facebooked it etc