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Calgary man’s 12 stolen guitars hold sentimental connections

The theft of a dozen personal guitars really pluck at Calgary man Eric Clark’s heartstrings.

Sometime between May 28 and June 1, someone broke into his home in the 3800 block of 30 Avenue SE while he was camping.

After a long drive back to Calgary, he came home ready to relax. When Clark opened the door his walls were bare.

The thief managed to steal 12 collectable electric guitars, worth $23,500, according to Calgary police.

But it’s not just about dollar value for Clark. He said he knows they’re just items but it’s more personal than that.

“A musician and his instruments, that’s a special thing. Just like a painter and his brushes” he said.

One of the guitars in particular is very important to Clark.

Clark’s grandfather, who recently died, also owned a Gibson guitar and the two bonded over their shared musical passion.

“When I bought mine, he was really proud of me, so I just really want that one back,” said Clark.

List of the guitars

Clark, who’s been playing guitar since the age of 11, said he has a good idea of who was behind the break-in.

Nothing else from the home was taken, he said.

Clark said police were able to collect several items that were left behind at the scene and the crime lab is working with the evidence.

The guitar cases weren’t taken and Clark is concerned about the guitars’ physical safety. He said he found strings to one of the guitars left behind at his house, which isn’t a good sign.

The stolen guitars include: 

  • A white LTD Pre-Lawsuit EXP
  • A black LTD Pre-Lawsuit EXP with EMG 81/85 pickups
  • A black LTD Pre-Lawsuit V with black grover turners
  • An LTD JH600 Jeff Hanneman Signature with Floyd Rose, autographed by members of Battlecross
  • A purple LTD Baritone Snakebyte
  • A black Dean ML with over 100 autographs
  • A black Gibson 7-String Explorer
  • A white Gibson ’79 Explorer, with EMG pickups/Sperxel Locking Tuners
  • A white, right-handed, Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster
  • A black, right-handed, Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Standard
  • A Holoflash finish Spector Rex5 Bass
  • A black and white Legacy Rickenbacker 4003
Clark’s Snake Bite guitar. Only 500 were ever made, according to Clark. COURTESY CPS

All the guitars have meaning

Photos of all the guitars are on the City of Calgary Newsroom.

Clark is hopeful that he will get all his guitars back, especially the white Gibson, which has a special place in his heart.

“I hope people do the right thing and be honest about what they find,” said Clark.

Many of the guitars are very unique and hold a lot of value.

“The one guitar has over 100 autographs is a one of a kind. There is nobody that has that guitar on the face of the planet,” said Clark

He said all the surviving members of the original band [Pantera] also signed it.

The Calgary Police are currently asking the public for help in finding the stolen guitars. They also warn other collectors to be on the lookout. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 403-266-1234.