Teenage musician, mom robbed at gunpoint

Thieves stole car, $40,000 custom violin

HOUSTON - A teenage musician and her mother were robbed at gunpoint last Thursday while in town to perform in The Woodlands.

Ruby Jane Smith, 17, is a world-class musician and the youngest person to play the fiddle at the Grand Ole Opry. Ruby Jane was in town with her mother, JoBelle, when someone came up to their car with a gun and demanded their car—filled with tens of thousands of dollars in instruments.

"Reached into the car, put a gun to my head and said get out," JoBelle said. "So my daughter jumped out of the car and I screamed."

Since then, JoBelle has been dumpster diving, trying to find her daughter's custom violin, worth $40,000, along with several other stolen instruments.

Luckily over the weekend, someone at a pawn shop in southeast Houston found the stolen guitar next to a dumpster. He saw Ruby Jane's name and website and called police.

"Now I'm determined to find the rest of the stuff whether at pawn shops or resale shops," JoBelle said. "This is my child's stuff. Don't mess with a mother hen!"

JoBelle and Ruby Jane's guitarist, Trevor LaBonte, are spending their days looking around through other pawn shops and dumpsters in the area, hoping to find their missing purses, jewelry, cell phones, Christmas presents, and the prized violin.

"They can't really get too far with this violin," LaBonte said. "It is handmade for Ruby Jane."

Ruby Jane's stolen violin has her name inside. If you find any stolen instruments, please call Houston police. If you would like to help Ruby Jane, you can reach her through her website at http://www.rubyjane.org/.

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