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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.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.