Man arrested for stealing Fender Telecaster guitar from casket in Green Bay

A 39-year-old man who served as grounds superintendent for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is facing a felony charge for stealing a Fender Telecaster from a dead man’s casket, the Brown County Sheriff’s Department said Monday morning.

The $2,000 electric guitar was recovered from Steven Conard’s home, and Conard was arrested on a charge of theft from a corpse. Conard was scheduled to appear in court on Monday afternoon. His wife also was arrested for obstructing officers and was being held in the Brown County Jail.

Deputies learned of the theft on Friday from the diocese director of facilities, Tammy Jo Basten, who reported the guitar missing from a casket at Allouez Catholic Cemetery and Chapel Mausoleum, 2121 Riverside Drive, Allouez.

The instrument had been in the casket when employees of the Ryan Funeral Home had transported the body on Thursday, the sheriff’s department said. Funeral home employees verified its presence at the request of the dead man’s family before putting the casket in the diocese’s burial chamber.

A diocese employee became suspicious after overhearing Conard saying, “That’s a Telly, a really expensive guitar. I have to have that guitar. It’s too expensive to be in a crypt.”

After his arrest, Conard said, “This isn’t something I normally do. I just have a respect for fine musical instruments.” [more]


Green Bay Press Gazette