Volunteer steals 11 instruments from Salvation Army, impacting youth programs

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Dozens of kids who can't afford traditional instruments and lessons come to The Salvation Army to learn.

"Rental of instrument or purchase of instrument is very expensive and sometimes median families can't have that expense let alone families that live in this neighborhood," Amy Kruger, with The Salvation Army said.

Kruger said last year more than 75 kids signed up for the Shield Fine Arts Academy of The Salvation Army.

This year, that's going to be more difficult to do.

On August 7, LPD responded to the Salvation Army Youth Center on a belated theft. Eleven musical instruments had been stolen from their music room valued at $7,790," said Officer Angela Sands.

Among the instruments stolen were five cornets, a flugel horn, alto horn, two baritones and a silver tuba.

Using their serial numbers, Sands said police were able to track down five of the instruments. Four were found at Lincoln pawn shops and a fifth at a shop in Indiana.

LPD said the man who pawned them, is 58-year-old Brenton Michael. He was a Salvation Army volunteer who did custodial work.

"I can't believe someone would steal from The Salvation Army who does so much good," Kruger said.

Officers arrested Michael at his home Sunday. The six instruments that are still missing weren't there.

Sands said there is a legal process The Salvation Army can go through to get those have been found at the pawn shops back.
As for the six that are still missing, police ask you to keep an eye out.

"It directly affects all the kids who won't get the opportunity to play," Kruger said.

Sands said four John Packer cornets, a John Packer alto horn, a John Packer baritone and a John packer silver tuba are the instruments that haven't been found yet.

Call 402-441-6000 with information.

Read the original version of this article at www.1011now.com.