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Rocker's Guitar Found After Being Stolen from Tour Bus Outside Chicago Theatre

The Chicago Music Exchange notified police Friday evening of the guitar’s return and detectives are investigating

Monday, May 5, 2014  |  Updated 11:46 AM EDT
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Rocker's Stolen Guitar Recovered After Theft in Chicago

A heavy metal rocker’s $10,000 guitar has been found nearly two months after it was stolen from his tour bus outside the Chicago Theatre, officials said.

Police said the guitar was pawned at Royal Pawn Shop in the 400 block of South Clark Street and later brought to the Chicago Music Exchange, where an employee recognized it as rocker Zakk Wylde’s Pelham Blue Les Paul.

Wylde, former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society, was performing at the Chicago Theatre in March as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour, which featured famous musicians like Buddy Guy and Johnny Lang, when the theft occurred.

Wylde, 47, told police that he returned to his tour bus following his performance at the venue and discovered his guitar and leather jacket were missing, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada.

Wylde valued the guitar, a custom-made Pelham Blue Les Paul with his signature bulls-eye pattern on it, at around $10,000. He told the Chicago Tribune that surveillance footage from the Chicago Theatre showed three men entering the bus after his tour manager forgot to lock the bus door while stocking it with food and ice.

According to a post from an employee at the Chicago Music Exchange Friday, someone brought the guitar in to see if they could replace the instrument's strap and bolts.

“We knew exactly who she [the guitar] was the second she was put on our bench,” the post read.

The Chicago Music Exchange notified police Friday evening of the guitar’s return and Area North detectives are investigating, Estrada said.

Employees from Royal Pawn Chicago, who were previously featured in the Tru TV reality show “Hardcore Pawn: Chicago,” said they were happy to hear the guitar would be returned to the rocker.

“Glad we could help in the safe return of your guitar,” the store posted on Wylde’s Facebook page.

Wylde posted to Twitter Sunday notifying fans of the guitar’s discovery and thanking those who helped find it, though it is not clear if it has been returned to him yet.

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