Equipment theft is a major problem for touring musicians all over the world, especially those who don't have security staff to monitor their vans while they aren't traveling. Heck, someone stole Zakk Wylde's one-of-a-kind blue bullseye Gibson last year, expecting that no one could figure it out. An even more brash thief struck in Manchester on Friday however, stealing a guitar signed by members of The Smiths, The Stone Roses and New Order. The item was to be auctioned off for charity, no less, according to NME

The event was to raise funds for Chico Ryder, the son of Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder, who is struggling with cancer. The guitar, a bass, was signed by the bassists of several prominent English bands: Peter Hook of New Order, Andy Rourke of The Smiths, Mani of the Stone Roses, and of course Ryder himself. The item had been sold for more than $800 during the auction. However someone managed to pinch it before it could be claimed. 

"I'm absolutely staggered that someone could stoop so low as to steal something that not only was up for auction to raise funds for a boy who had cancer, but that the item itself was donated by the family who the money was being raised for," said Angela Ryder, the boy's mother and Paul's wife. 

Unfortunately the event wasn't done dealing with a--holes. Another item up for auction was a pair of maracas autographed by Bez, the vocalist for Happy Mondays, who would perform later in the night. He used the percussion instruments as part of the band's gig, part of the spiel, and allowed them to be passed around the crowd for fan participation. He unfortunately had a Mr. Mackey-type experience as the items never got back to the stage, despite his imploring. That item was at least fairly easy to replace, as he had another pair on hand for autographing. 

The Palace Hotel, which held the concert, is reviewing security footage in an attempt to identify the thief.