One-armed guitarist’s instrument and kit stolen in raid

GUITAR STOLEN ... Marc Playle at the Artistic Blacksmiths in Boldon.
GUITAR STOLEN ... Marc Playle at the Artistic Blacksmiths in Boldon.
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A GUITARIST is hoping thieves will face the music after valuable instruments were snatched during a raid at his dad’s business.

Crooks stole about £2,000 of goods – including a ‘sentimental’ custom-made guitar – after breaking into Artistic Blacksmith Components in Hutton Street, Boldon Colliery, over the weekend.

But musician Marc Playle – who has wowed crowds all over the country and beyond by playing despite having just one playing hand – has launched an online plea to help locate the equipment and possibly snare the raiders.

The equipment belonging to Marc and fellow members of his band SkyRed had been left in a spare room at the building.

Offenders forced their way into the business through a front window and stole the silver guitar, a G-Lab pedal board for guitar in a long black unit/flight case, a grey Advent lap-top and a Falcon multi-coloured welding mask with the Joker and playing cards images on it.

The group had been set to play a gig at Forest Hall next month – but the theft means their plans have been put on ice.

Despite being born without a lower left arm, Marc picked up the guitar for the first time at just 14 and has proved a hit ever since.

He is determined to come out fighting after the setback for him and his band – and hopes friends and fans will help reunite the band with their precious equipment.

Mr Playle, 28, said: “It is gutting. It’s creepy to think that someone has broken in.

“We had a gig planned for April but that has now had to be cancelled. I have put an appeal for the return of the guitar and the other equipment on Facebook.

“The guitar is a one-off custom-built “Les Tones” Ibanez Jem. silver body with a mirror scratchplate.

“The other gear that was stolen was a G-Lab GSC-3 (guitar system controller), Ernie Ball volume pedal (VP Jr 250K) and Cry Baby wah pedal (cry baby 535q).

“The appeal has already had 200 shares. It is the only guitar of its kind in the country.

“It belongs to my bandmate Richard Docherty. It was given to him on his 21st birthday and he is 30 now.

“We would ask who knows anything to get in touch.” Dad Derek Playle, 60, who has owned the business for more than 20 years added: “I have beefed up security now. Nobody will be able to get in again. It’s nothing to do with the value of what was taken, it’s the sentimental value as the guitar was a 21st birthday gift. I’m gutted because of that.”

The burglary took place between 1.45pm on Saturday and 8.12am on Sunday.

Police are appealing for witnesses and asking anyone who was in the area who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to contact police.

Anyone with information, or who is offered these items for sale, or has seen them advertised for sale, should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting reference 416 of 23/03/14 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can get in touch with Marc directly with information at