FOR more than a decade he has made a living as a busker with a treasured guitar his mum gave to him.
But folk musician Gareth Forsyth was robbed of his much-loved £3000 instrument as he waited for a coach at St Andrew Square bus station, meaning he now has no way of earning a wage.
Urgent appeals for information have been posted on social networking sites, as well as on music and guitar forums across the UK, warning people to look out for the unusual guitar being sold on the black market.
Mr Forsyth, 32, a Dublin-based musician, had been visiting friends in the Capital and dozed off for half an hour as he waited for a coach.
He said: “I’m usually more careful as my guitar is all I have to make a few quid.
“My phone, wallet and bag were in a rucksack and that’s gone too.”
His guitar – known to him as Mildred – was a treasured gift from his mother, bought for him more than a decade ago to help him as he embarked on a musical career.
The Lowden model, which was in a Hiscox flight case, has distinctive markings and sports a black scratchplate on its bottom right. It also has a small piece of sandpaper on the top.
Mum Caroline Carey has also spoken of her disappointment at the instrument going missing on January 8.
She told the News: “He is a brilliant musician and very talented. The industry is a tough one so he resorts to busking.
“There is a bit of a false sense of security in Ireland as there seems to be so much less theft, especially of instruments.
“He’s been really shaken by it because he went everywhere with it. He had a real relationship with it.
“Obviously, someone was watching him and has taken advantage for that split second.”
Mr Forsyth is the latest musician to be targeted by thieves in the last year across Lothian.
In August, thugs made off with a £1000 rare guitar belonging to Simon Reid, a student at Edinburgh Napier University, who had left it in the back of his car following a gig in Livingston, along with £500 of other musical equipment.
Fortunately, after a story in the Evening News, a pawn shop contacted Mr Reid to say the sunburst Fender American VG Stratocaster was there.
In June, Californian four-piece Le Blonde Dames were staying in the Radisson Blu hotel, in High Street, when a guitar they owned was stolen.
Bungling thieves attempted to sell it to a music shop, whose owners instantly became suspicious and contacted police.
In September, Toby Mottershead thought his beloved possession had been taken following a Festival gig. However, it later emerged the instrument had been mistakenly taken to London by the construction firm charged with dismantling the stage.
Anyone with information about the theft of Mr Forsyth’s guitar should e-mail gar firstname.lastname@example.org