Guitar theft leaves victim heartbroken - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Guitar theft leaves victim heartbroken

Burlington, Vermont - December 8, 2011

A rash of breakins in Burlington -- thieves have made off with all sorts of items, and now crooks have taken something that will be impossible to replace if it's not found.  

Ben Hardy came home from an extended vacation over Thanksgiving, and he was stunned to find the lights on at his Burlington house, the door unlocked and his cabinets were open.

"I did a quick scan and noticed immediately that I had been robbed," he said. He ran upstairs to find his musical instruments were gone. "They had taken a box of electronics and dumped it on the floor."

But one missing guitar broke his heart. "So this is where I kept the Telecaster Fender, cause I didn't want to leave it out," Hardy said.

It was very special because it belonged to his older brother, Josh, and was signed by all the members of the rock group Pearl Jam.  It was given to Josh when he was dying of brain cancer back in the early 90's.  The Make-a-Wish Foundation sent the whole family to Seattle to meet grunge bands.  Josh was a huge fan, and that's where he got the special present. "He was speechless, he was really speechless, he was a shy enough kid as it was -- this just blew him away," Hardy recalled.

The guitar is signed by all the members of the band, and Pearl Jam is written on it.  Even though a lot of time has passed since Josh died, for Ben, the guitar is a powerful reminder of  his brother. He hopes someone will return it to where it belongs. "It's not about the monetary value, this guitar means more to my family than anything," he said.

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