Thieves have stolen a guitar once owned by a Waikato soldier killed in combat in East Timor, leaving his friends pleading for the return of the musical memento they say holds huge sentimental value.
The electric guitar and two amplifiers were stolen from Ramarama man Richard Main's workshop on the family's property at McEldownie Rd on the evening of Thursday, April 3.
The guitar and amps were once the property of the late Private Leonard Manning, who was killed in an ambush in East Timor in July 2000 during service with the New Zealand Army.
Main and his wife Catherine are long time friends of Manning's parents - they went to school together at Pukekohe High, and their children went on to become friends.
When Manning died, his then-Putaruru based parents gifted their son's musical equipment to Main, he said, because they knew of his strong love for music.
He is devastated by the theft and is desperate for the equipment's return.
''The dollar value is nothing compared to the sentimental value, it is all I've got to remember the young fella by.''
Main hopes the epeople responsible to the theft may have a change of heart and hand the guitar and amps into the police.
If readers have any information on the theft, they can call the Pukekohe Police Station on 092371700.