Man Accused of Stealing Guitar From Casket

Guitar allegedly found in cemetery employee's home

Monday, Sep 26, 2011  |  Updated 5:58 PM CDT
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They say you can't take it with you, and for one deceased man in Wisconsin, that saying almost became reality.

Steve Conard, 39, a cemetery groundskeeper, is charged with stealing a Fender Telecaster guitar from a casket Monday that was meant  to be buried with its previous owner.

Conard, an employee of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, was suspected after another employee told investigators that Conard stated the guitar is "too expensive to be in a crypt."

The other employee said the guitar was inside the casket on Thursday but missing on Friday morning. Police say the missing property was found inside Conard's home.

Conard reportedly told deputies, "This isn't something I normally do; I just have a respect for fine musical instruments."

The guitar was returned to the dead man's family and placed back in the casket. The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay said Conard is on unpaid leave until the criminal investigation is completed.

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