In just a weekend, B.C. blues musician Harry Manx went through the despair of having his unique Indian guitar stolen from an airport baggage carousel, the staggering online support of strangers who offered to find it, and the relief that the alleged thief had been caught.
Manx, who is from the Isle of Man but lives on Saltspring Island, lost the guitar at Chicago's O'Hare Airport last Friday. A plea on his Facebook page to fans in that city who might spot it was shared by more than 75,000 people, resulting in millions of views.
The post generated thousands of comments, including offers from people in Chicago to check local pawn shops for the distinctive 20-stringed instrument. Others also offered to make or buy Manx a new one. In fact, one is already being shipped from India, reported the New York Daily News
Manx got the guitar, known as a Mohan Veena, from his Grammy-award winning mentor, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, reported The Globe and Mail.
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“I had a real shock in the beginning, but once I started to see the way things were going, people were so helpful and reaching out I found it very hard to be bummed out for very long,” he told NBC Chicago. “I felt uplifted because I wasn’t aware that there was so many that care about such events that happen to others, people that don’t know me.”
Surveillance video caught a man taking the case and running towards nearby trains, said NBC.
Late Tuesday, Manx announced on Facebook that the guitar had been found. The suspect was caught trying to steal more luggage at O'Hare and eventually told police where the instrument was located, Manx wrote. He said he will be returning to Chicago to pick it up from police next week.
"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," he added.
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