Original Van Halen "Frankenstein" Stolen Then Recovered from Hard Rock Cafe

News broke this morning that an original "Frankenstrat" guitar had been stolen from a Hard Rock Cafe in downtown San Antonio, where it had been hanging on display.

A Hard Rock employee noticed the guitar was missing as they closed the restaurant Friday morning, around 1 a.m., and called authorities to report it. Police believe that the thief entered the restaurant late Thursday or early Friday morning through an open side door, took the guitar off the wall, and walked out.

But a few hours later, it was reported that the guitar—an original, signed EVH Frankenstrat that Eddie donated to the Hard Rock in 2004, valued at more than $100,000—was returned to the restaurant. Mysteriously, none of the reports specify where the guitar had been, who had it, or the circumstances surrounding its return.

This is hardly the first time that a famous instrument was lifted from its home. A few months ago, we published a piece that outlined six such instances of instrument theft, from the mysterious disappearance of John Lennon's Gibson J-160E to the Stradivarius cello that almost became a CD case. And like this tale of the missing Frakenstrat, the six instances we cover each has a happy ending as well—though perhaps with just as much mystery.

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