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Police make 3 arrests in theft of church’s musical instruments

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Police make 3 arrests in theft of church’s musical instruments

Dave Thompson and Kim Machado of Northgate Brethren Church examine some of the recovered musical equipment taken some two weeks ago in a middle of the night burglary from a church storeroom.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED November 20, 2009 2:38 a.m.
By GLENN KAHL
Staff reporter for the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Manteca Police detectives have made three arrests in the investigation of a recent burglary that saw some $8,000 in church music equipment taken from the Northgate Brethren Church located on Northgate Drive.

Usually kept in the church sanctuary, the instruments and sound equipment had been moved to a storage area due to a scheduled wedding where thieves pried a window open to gain access to the building.

Carl Valentine Sholund, 34, was charged with burglary at his home in the 1600 block of Sprague Avenue, and with a parole violation, Detective Steve Harris said.  Sholund was known to the people in the north Manteca neighborhoods for riding his bicycle up and down area streets and spend time at the local 7-Eleven.

A string of musicians walked into the police department Thursday afternoon to identify their specific instruments.

Much of the missing equipment was found, officers said, but there is quite a bit still outstanding.  Officers said other arrests are pending in their continuing investigation noting that it took more than one person to haul off the instruments – saying that a truck was probably used.

It was a week-long investigation that saw officers searching house after house for the missing church equipment bringing the arrest of two others not immediately linked to the church theft.  Several people appeared oblivious to the fact the instruments were stolen.  One was even sold to a church pastor, they noted.

Dave Thompson and Kim Machado, both members of the Northgate Brethren Church Worship Team, were among five of the musicians who lost their equipment.  Thompson is also an associate pastor at the church.
Thompson said the church had to borrow equipment for their Sunday services from a sister church in Stockton and even brought an old drum set out of storage that was used prior to the purchase of an electronic set.

The guitars, drums, amplifiers and speakers had all been sold to other parties by the suspect, police said.  Tracking down the purchasers took much of the time in the recovery.  Both the arrests and the recoveries were aided by members of the police Street Crimes Unit detectives that included Sgt. Danny Erb, Paul Carmona, and Sam Gallego.

A $1,500 Ibanez Bass Guitar – one of only 14 ever made – was the single most expensive guitar to be taken.  An Epiphone Sheridan-2 Guitar valued at $800 had also been taken along with an Epiphone Lespaul Standard with an identifying orange sunburst.

One of the four recovered guitars had been painted a bright red, police said.
A $700 Yamaha electronic drum set had also been taken along with some 45 other items.  Police are asking anyone who might know the location of other pieces of church music equipment to please call Detective Steve Harris at the Manteca Police Department.

Sholund’s bail was set at $50,000 overshadowed by a “no bail” status because of his parole violation.  His court date is set for November 23 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 1 of the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.
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