£40,000 worth of musical instruments stolen from a workshop in Northumberland

12 June 2018, 11:12 | Updated: 12 June 2018, 11:27

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Twelve uninsured instruments were stolen from a guitar workshop on Saturday night, in a burglary the owner has described as a 'financial disaster'.

Twelve instruments worth £40,000 were stolen from a workshop on an industrial estate on Burn Lane in Hexham, Northumberland, on Saturday night.

The workshop, which was occupied by guitar maker Nigel Forster, is one of a number of shops that were broken into over the weekend.

Nigel Forster makes instruments for his business NK Forster guitars, and has been in the industry for 30 years.

Of the stolen instruments, some had already been paid for and were about to be sent out to customers and others were for sale, while one belonged to a friend.

Mr Forster plans to refund customers who have lost out, but said the financial loss will hit him hard, especially as he didn’t have insurance.

He told ChronicleLive: “I know people will be wagging their fingers and saying I should have had insurance. But the reality is that I can’t get insurance – the small print in the policies show I’m not actually covered, and they never pay out. Financially, this is a disaster.”

Wooden Fender bass guitar
Wooden Fender bass guitar. Picture: Getty

The missing instruments include the following models: an O Celtic mandolin, an eight-string sapele and spruce mandola, an 1890s vintage Howe Orme, a 1970s Fender Musicmaster bass guitar and a ‘relic’ finish electric guitar.

Forster said: “They will struggle to sell these guitars without setting off alarm bells. My fear is that they will be trashed or dumped somewhere. I would like to have them returned to me.

“It was £40,000 worth of guitars and eight months of my work. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. The instruments have gone and I have got to hand money back.

“This is disheartening. I don’t know if it’s worth continuing.”

In a statement, Northumberland Police told ChronicleLive: “At around 11.19am on Sunday, June 10, we received a report of burglary in the industrial estate on Burn Lane in Hexham.

“Officers attended the scene and found that a number of units had been broken into. Enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what has happened. It is believed that the burglary could have occurred between 8pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday.

“Anyone with information should contact us by calling 101 quoting log 437 10/06/18.”