A guitar stolen from a St. George home over the holidays is valued at $35,000, but the man it was stolen from says the guitar has sentimental value far beyond that figure.

John Newton spent the Christmas season in Florida, spending time with friends. When he returned to his home in the quiet Brant County community, he saw a broken window and quickly realized that every room in his house had been rummaged through by a burglar.

“As soon as I got into the house, there’s things on the floor, there’s drawers pulled out, cupboards hanging open, and some very obvious pieces missing,” Newton told CTV.

Those missing items included antique jewelry, a computer and a certificate signed by Winston Churchill.

But most notable of all was the loss of an original 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Although the guitar has significant value on its own, it has even more to Newton.

In the 1970s, Newton struck up a friendship with Luther Allison, a guitarist who would go on to become legendary in blues circles.

The stolen Stratocaster was a gift from Allison, passed on to Newton a few years before Allison’s 1997 death.

“It’s like family heirlooms. I could possibly go out and by another guitar that was identical and probably in better shape, but it wouldn’t have that connection,” said Newton, who has checked out local pawn shops in the hopes the guitar thief may have exchanged it for some cash.

Police say good ways to be protected from break-and-enters include having someone trustworthy conduct regular checks on an empty home and keeping records of valuables.

“In today’s digital world, take a picture of that property, make sure you record the serial number and any identifying marks,” said Brant County OPP Const. Mark Foster.

Another suggestion from Foster is to save info on valuables to a flash drive kept in a secure location.