Cemetery Worker Who Stole Fender Telecaster from Grave Faces 10 Years

As we reported on September 27, a grounds superintendent at a Wisconsin cemetery was accused of stealing a $2,000 Fender Telecaster from the casket of a man who had recently died.

Steve Conard, 39, was charged on September 26 with the theft of "moveable property from a corpse."

On Monday, Conard pleaded no contest to takling the cream-colored Tele from a casket at Allouez Catholic Cemetery and Chapel Mausoleum near Green Bay. Conard, who faces a potential 10 years in prison, will be sentenced in January.

A cemetery employee overheard Conard talking about the guitar: "That's a Tele, a really expensive guitar. I have to have that guitar. It's too expensive to be in a crypt." When that same employee looked in the casket the next day, the guitar was missing.

Deputies found the Tele in Conard's home. "This isn't something I normally do; I just have a respect for fine musical instruments," Conard said, according to the sheriff's department.

The Tele was returned to the family, and the man -- Randall Jourdan, 67 -- and his guitar were entombed. Jourdan's dying wish was to be buried with the instrument, his "pride and joy." Jourdan played guitar for 40 years.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.