A TEENAGE singer-songwriter has had to cancel gigs around the region after her guitar was stolen.

Thieves broke into a car belonging to Lauren Varley, 17, and took the instrument, and also a bag belonging to her friend, while the pair were at York College.

Lauren, who is from Sherburn-in-Elmet and attends classes with York’s Access To Music at The Jam Factory in Eldon Street, said the Ibanez AW30 was of huge sentimental value.

She said: “I had saved up two years to buy my guitar and it means the world to me. I am a singer songwriter and my guitar is my living, I wrote all of my songs on that guitar.

“It’s not the fact they have stolen my guitar, but the fact it means so much to me. It’s the only thing I’ve ever looked after in my life.”

Lauren bought the instrument, which cost about £500, while on holiday in Florida, and has written more than a dozen original songs on it, including her debut single, Mr Cold Feet.

She had hoped to promote the new single, which is released this month, at upcoming gigs, but has had to cancel her shows due to the theft.

She said: “I had to cancel a gig in Leeds on Friday night because of this, so it’s costing me money all the time it’s missing.

“If they can hand it in or let the police know about where it is, it’s more than just a guitar to me. I’ve got an old one, but it’s not usable for a gig.”

The theft took place on Thursday. A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said a 37-year-old man was arrested in the Pottery Lane area of York on Saturday morning in connection with the theft.