Staff at a popular Preston music shop are celebrating after a stolen guitar worth nearly £1k was returned following a chance sighting by their eagle eyed manager.
The guitar was taken from the Music Cellar on Fox Street at around midday on 15 December by an opportunistic thief, says Matt Wells Manager of the shop.
Staff were devastated to discover the loss of the American Fender Stratocaster which has an estimated worth of around £850.
Manager Matt Wells says: "These kinds of thefts have a huge impact on small businesses. We can't afford high end security systems and the cost of safeguarding our stock is huge. We are not insured against items that are shoplifted so anything that is stolen just has to be written off."
One month later Matt was shocked to see the guitar for sale in the window of a local pawn shop as he walked to work.
He said: "Thankfully all our instruments have serial numbers and we were able to prove ownership of the guitar. The pawn shop co-operated fully and we were delighted to be reunited with the stolen guitar."
"As it happens, the theft attracted so much publicity that the we actually sold the guitar last Saturday."
A spokesman for Preston Police said in a post to their Facebook Page: "Reuniting rightful owners with their stolen property is just one of the many things we do.
"Remember you can help protect your valuables, not just musical equipment, by registering them online for free with Immobilise.
"Immobilise is a national property database where you can upload the details of your belongings along with a picture. This allows the police to identify the rightful owner with ease."
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, say police.
The national property database Immobilise can be found at www.immobilise.com.