It was a happy reunion for a Canadian musician after his stolen guitar was finally returned.
“Well the fella who stole it didn’t tune it up properly but I will take care of that,” said “Mysticssippi” blues man Harry Manx.
Manx flew back to Chicago from Canada to retrieve his signature Mohan Veena, a string instrument commonly used in Indian classical music. The instrument, which was stolen from a baggage claim at O’Hare Airport during the touring musician’s last visit to the area, was recovered by Chicago Police less than a week after the theft.
“I sort of felt I would never see it again,” Manx said. “I was even reluctant to do a police report because of the that, but the officer here had talked me into doing it and I was so happy because that led them to find it very quickly.
Police say surveillance video captured the thief approaching the baggage claim belt, grabbing Manx’s guitar case, and walking quickly toward the CTA train exit.
Undercover officers staked out the baggage claim area over the next few days anticipating the thief would return.
Police say one of the officers noticed a man who matched their suspect's description taking three bags that did not belong to him.
“We were set up to see if he comes back again," said Carlos Soria with the Chicago Police Department. “Sure enough he showed back up again with the same clothing, taking more baggage off the carousel.”
Anthony Hargrove, 59, was taken into custody and police say they were eventually able to recover the rare guitar. He faces four counts of felony theft in connection to two separate incidents at the airport.
Manx posted a celebratory status on Facebook last week announcing to fans that his Mohan Veena, given to him by his Grammy Award-winning teacher and the inventor of the guitar, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, was found and in police possession.
“There’s no way for me to express the gratitude I have to everyone for helping out, but I would like to say that the generous outpouring of support has uplifted my spirits and renewed my faith in the kindness of strangers,” Manx posted on Facebook.
Manx thanked Chicago police Tuesday for reuniting him with his favorite instrument, valued at around $10,000, and said he knows reunions like this don’t happen that often
“So many folks will lose their instruments and never see them again and they go away so quickly,” Manx said. “The saving grace is that you can’t move this very quickly. It’s too unique.”