Musician Harry Manx Reunited with Rare Guitar Stolen from O'Hare Airport

Posted on March 4, 2014 | by Amber von Nagel

Most everyone has heard grim tales of irreparable damage, loss, and theft of musicians' beloved instruments during air travel. But for Canadian musician Harry Manx, what looked to be a musician's worst air-travel nightmare had a happy ending after all.

Manx's rare Indian guitar, a Mohan Veena, was stolen from the baggage claim at O'Hare airport in Chicago, Illinois. “I sort of felt I would never see it again,” Manx told NBC Chicago. A police officer convinced him to file a police report on the instrument's theft, despite Manx's initial reluctance. However, he was happy he filed that report, because it helped the police track down the instrument in less than a week.

Police say that the thief was caught stealing Manx's instrument on a surveillance video. Undercover officers staked out the baggage claim over the next few days, anticipating the thief's return. Sure enough, the thief did come back to steal more baggage from the carousel. He was taken into custody and the Mohan Veena was eventually recovered and returned to Manx.

“So many folks will lose their instruments and never see them again and they go away so quickly,” Manx told NBC Chicago. “The saving grace is that you can’t move this very quickly. It’s too unique.”

And it is quite a unique instrument. You can see the Mohan Veena in action in the above video, played by its inventor, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

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