A Queanbeyan musician is relying on people power to recover his valuable collection of rare guitars and family heirlooms after brazen thieves cleared out his home.
Charlie Tizzard says police have given him little hope of finding more than a dozen guitars, gold jewellery and a grandfather clock taken from his Thorpe Avenue house sometime during the evening of 7 July, or early hours of 8 July.
No-one was home at the time and Charlie says the thieves had up to 16 hours to ransack his residence.
“They really cleared out the house,” he says. “They even took an old grandfather clock that’s been in my family since the 1800s, and my late mother’s jewellery.”
Among Charlie’s collection was a Gibson Les Paul custom guitar signed by Paul himself, some David Grohl prototype guitars, and three DeArmond instruments he said could be directly traced back to him.
“Not a lot of people knew I had the guitars,” he says.
“Because they are so rare it will make them very difficult to sell. Every guitar shop in Australia now knows what has been pinched.”
Charlie also has friends and family poring through Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree in case any of the stolen items are put up for sale that way.
“I’m completely gutted,” he says. “I haven’t been sleeping; it’s just devastating.
“I’m not getting a lot of hope from police. I’m really relying on people power. If any guitars end up on Marketplace, we can trace it back.”
Charlie’s Facebook post seeking information on the theft has been shared more than 2000 times, prompting support and well wishes from people across the world.
He has offered a $5000 reward for information leading to the return of his property and arrests.
“I really just want my stuff back,” he says.
But so far the only bright spot for Charlie has been the response from DW Music in Fyshwick.
“They’ve hooked me up with a really nice guitar,” he says. “It was a really nicely spirited gesture.”
Monaro Police District Acting Inspector Brad Hughes said given the size and volume of goods that were taken, it is likely more than one person was involved in the crime.
He said it is too early to say whether it was a targeted or opportunistic crime.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.