eBay restores Kingston Trio banjo to original owner

Thanks to Becky Taylor for passing along this heartwarming story which appears in today’s issue of The Richmond Times Dispatch.

It tells of how Jim Connor, then a member of The Kingston Trio, had his custom Vega banjo stolen after a show in 1971, only to have it restored to him when a former student spotted it on eBay. Especially encouraging is the reporting of eBay’s eager cooperation in halting the sale and establishing communication between the seller and Connor.

EBay stopped the sale of the instrument. With the help of the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office, Connor contacted New York City police.

The seller, who said that a relative had bought the banjo in a used-furniture store in Harlem, called Connor.

“He said, ‘If the instrument is really stolen, I want to cooperate,'” Connor said. Connor proved with pictures and affidavits that the instrument was his.

Connor ultimately purchased the banjo back, convinced that the current seller was in no way connected with the 35 year old theft in New York, and is delighted to be reunited with his old friend.

Read the full article on the Times Dispatch site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.