By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — His father was his hero and a rock ‘n’ roll singer who once had a Top 40 song. His dad gave him a guitar that he treasured until someone stole it.

“It’s my dad’s guitar. he carried it on his back to school every day in junior high,” Darren Kicker said. “This is the most important thing my dad ever gave me, and this guitar is him.”

The treasured 1952 Telecaster guitar was stolen 20 years ago. But he has confidence he can find it now and reconnect the cut ties to his father.

“This website, it was like, it renewed my hope. I feel like I could possibly get this guitar back,” he said.

Investigator Marc Hinch is helping him. He’s the founder of Stolen 911, a website for victims of stolen property.

The site is attracting attention for its ability to tell stories about stolen items like Kicker’s.

The website has doubled its unique users in the past years, but its real benefit is creating what Hinch calls a digital fingerprint online that will expose property as stolen through any Web search.

“It’s going to lead you to, ‘Oh wow, this item is stolen, and here’s the contact information,’” he said.

Kicker says his father’s guitar is distinguished by a unique feature carved into it.

“It’s absolutely the only one ever made, that has that curlicue in it,” he said.