Didn't Les Paul (himself) have this same problem? I seem to recall from an interview that when he first discovered a neighbour had a guitar, he and his friends sneaked in so they could take a look. When the owner discovered the kids had been messing with his guitar, he burnt it in the hearth so "...Those pesky kids can't steal my chords anymore!." Essentially destroying the only guitar in the neighbourhood. Go look it up though, my memory of this story is hazy at best. More guitar bigotry.