A trombonist was reunited with his missing instrument after a member of the public spotted it underneath a hedge.
Richard Wigley, 31, had his handmade Rath R4-F trombone stolen from the boot of his black Volkswagen Golf last month.
Despite a police appeal, he was convinced he would never see it again.
But he was proved wrong when the £3,000 instrument was returned to him after a member of the public handed it in to police.
Mr Wigley, of Ritcroft Street, Hemel Hempstead, said: “Funnily enough, it was found just around the corner from me in Leverstock Green Road.
“There’s a piece of grass which everyone takes turns to mow, and one of the neighbours found dumped in the hedge nearby when it was his turn to mow.
“It’s a little bit damaged but nothing that can’t be fixed. I think the person who stole it dumped it there when they realised what it was, and that they wouldn’t be able to get any money for it.
“I was so relieved when I opened the case and saw that everything was still in there.
“There were some sentimental items that could never be replaced, including a mouthpiece, and that was still there.
“I thought it was gone forever but I think someone was smiling down on me.”
Mr Wigley, who regularly performs in the orchestras of West End shows, has been in touch with his neighbours to thank them.