A signed custom-built Edward Van Halen guitar was stolen from the Hard Rock Café in downtown San Antonio, Texas late last week. That’s right, someone simply walked into the side door of the restaurant, grabbed the guitar off the wall and walked right out the door. The local police said the incident occurred either late on the night of Thursday the 16th or in the early the early hours of Friday, November 17th.
It turns out that nobody in the restaurant witnessed the theft but, thankfully, the manager of the Hard Rock Café eventually noticed Eddie’s “Frankenstrat” was missing from the wall. By the next morning, however, officials with Hard Rock International said the stolen guitar had been safely returned to the restaurant.
According to San Antonio television news station KENS 5 the guitar, donated to the restaurant back in 2004, was found less than five minutes away along a river walk. Someone found the guitar there and returned it to the Hard Rock Café. Police have acquired the restaurant’s surveillance footage and are working with local authorities to investigate the incident. The person, if caught, could be charged with theft.
This story has made the rounds the last few days, but all the articles we’ve seen were wrong, saying the guitar was a (or THE?) “Frankenstrat” guitar, reported to be worth over $100,000. The actual guitar stolen and later returned was an EVH Art Series Charvel, serial # 84, worth good money, but far less than $100,000. This was from the first run of Ed’s creations in 2004. Ed used this guitar live on Nov. 4th, 2004 in Ames, Iowa, and signed it.
Below are a couple news reports on the case of the missing EVH guitar: