West Mercia Police are appealing for help to trace a limited edition guitar made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of legendary band the Shadows, which has been stolen in transit.
The £5,000 Fender Stratocaster, in custom red with gold hardware, is one of only 50 which went on sale to mark the milestone although another four were made which went to members of the band and a music shop owner in the South of England.
Guitar number 16 of the 50 made for sale was sent in error to a Shadows fan in Barnt Green, North Worcestershire, on November 27 last year. The man who received it contacted the delivery firm that day but when it was redelivered via a Worcestershire depot to an address in Eastbourne, Sussex, the following day the box was empty.
An internal inquiry was launched by the delivery firm which has now turned the matter over to the police.
PC Andrew Forbes, who is investigating, said: “We are now satisfied that the guitar has been stolen rather than simply going astray and we are appealing for help from anyone who can help us locate it.
“It may be that it has changed hands several times and the person who has it now doesn’t know that it was stolen. A Stratocaster like this would be highly prized and is unmistakeable due to its unique red and white design and a Certificate of Authenticity which states it is number 16. The certificate has also been personally signed by band members Hank B Marvin and Bruce Welch.
“If you have this guitar or think you know who might know where it is then we would ask you to pick up the phone and call us immediately.”
The guitar has a leather strap with gold-effect The Shadows 50th Anniversary logo and was in a lacquered tweed case with red, crushed velvet lining and a brown leather carry handle.
Fender produced the limited edition guitar at its custom shop in California and is a reproduction of the first Stratocaster in the UK which was imported by Cliff Richard for Hank Marvin to play with The Shadows in 1959.
Anyone with information about the stolen Stratocaster should call PC Forbes at Kidderminster Police Station on 0300 333 3000, quoting incident reference 233-S-040210, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.