A Brisbane man has pleaded guilty to stealing a collection of signed guitars worth an estimated $30,000.
A man who stole a valuable collection of signed guitars from a Brisbane music enthusiast has been handed a two-year jail sentence.
The 14 instruments, which had been autographed by the likes of The Eagles, Chubby Checker, John Mellencamp and Jimmy Barnes, were swiped from a shed next to Leonard “Merv” French’s home on Brisbane’s bayside in August.
On Monday, police were able to hand all the guitars back to Mr French, 81, but they were not in their original condition.
Some had been buried in dirt underneath a home in nearby Lota, and the signatures had been wiped off others.
The breakthrough came after an anonymous tipoff to authorities, Detective Senior Constable Lonie Horn revealed.
Austen Sheffield, 50, faced Wynnum Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with entering premises to commit an indictable offence, and an unrelated charge of possessing tainted property.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years behind bars.
Det Sen Const Horn said officers also found other property at the Lota address, which was believed to have been stolen.
In August, Mr French branded those responsible for the crime as “low mongrels”.
But he was thankful the guitars were not as “knocked around” as he expected them to be.
“I can see they want a bit of cleaning up to have them looking like they were, but that’ll happen eventually,” he told reporters on Monday.
He would also try to reinstate the signatures through a friend with connections in the music industry.
The collection, valued an estimated $30,000, will be stored in a more secure location.
Sheffield will be eligible for parole in March 2016.