Los Angeles - US police have recovered five stolen guitars belonging to Tom Petty and Heartbreakers, they said on Tuesday, earning thanks from the US rock veteran on the eve of his latest tour.
Petty had offered a $7 500 reward for information about the guitars, including one of Petty's vintage 12-string Rickenbackers, which helped the band produce the band's distinctive sound.
A police spokesperson said an arrest was made after the instruments were reported missing last Thursday from The Culver Studios in Culver City, just outside Los Angeles.
The 51-year-old security guard at the studios, named as Daryl Washington, was detained after police received a tip that one of the guitars had been sold to a pawn shop in Hollywood, for $250.
He was booked on suspicion of grand theft, said police spokesperson Ron Iizuka said, adding: "We believe that there is a very strong and compelling evidence in this case."
Petty responded on Twitter, saying: "Extremely gr8ful 2 the Culver City Police Dept 4 a job well done & touched by the outpouring of good wishes & concern from R fans & friends."
The guitars also included a Mike Campbell model Dusenberg created for Heartbreakers guitar player Mike Campbell for the band's 30th anniversary in 2006.
Also taken but recovered was Petty's 1965 Gibson SG TV Junior, bassist Ron Blair's Fender Broadcaster and a 1967 Epiphone Sheridan belonging to Heartbreakers guitarist and keyboard player Scott Thurston.
Petty had Tweeted repeatedly about the guitars after they went missing from the studios where the band has been rehearsing, saying: "These guitars mean a lot" and "No questions ASKED just want them back."
The band, famous for hits including Learning To Fly, Refugee and Breakdown, kicks off its latest tour on Wednesday in Broomfield, Colorado.