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Theieves steal $8K worth of church instruments

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POSTED November 12, 2009 4:27 a.m.

The Northgate Brethren Church has lost some $8,000 in band instruments to thieves and a Poplar Avenue residence had its back door kicked in with guitars and construction tools taken.

The church musician-owned equipment had usually been set up in the church sanctuary, but because of a scheduled wedding ceremony on Saturday it had been stored in a supply room.  A back window had been pried open, according to a report from Manteca Police community service officer Barbie Hall.

Hall said the single most expensive guitar was a $1,500 Ibanez Bass Guitar, one of only 14 to ever have been made.  An Epiphone Sheridan-2 guitar valued at $800 was also taken as was an Epiphone Lespaul Standard with an identifying orange sunburst.

A Yamaha electronic drum set valued at $700 was missing along with a long list of other items – 50 total pieces in all, police said.

Hall added because of the sizeable loss in equipment, the thieves more than likely used a truck to carry it all away.

Also Saturday night another musician living in the 600 block of Poplar Avenue had the rear door of his home kicked in and a 1956 Martin guitar taken that involved four youths on bicycle – two of whom were caught by a neighbor at about 6:30 Sunday morning as they rode away from his residence.

In pulling away from the neighbor, the boys dropped a second guitar, a $3,500 Martin, according to Allen Westerdale who said he believed the boys had been in his residence most of the night.

The Manteca man said he was away from home when the break-in occurred and noted he is also missing a Play Station valued at $400 and a set of Pro Tools, valued at $3,000.

Westerdale is a construction worker by trade who has been off work and away from his band involvement due to a back injury and surgery.  He said he was getting ready to go back playing in a band in the near future.

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