CHICAGO
09/26/2011 06:24 pm ET | Updated Nov 26, 2011

Steve Conard, Cemetery Worker, Stole $2,000 Guitar From Casket: Police

A Wisconsin cemetery worker was charged with theft from a corpse Monday after allegedly taking a $2,000 guitar from an Army veteran's casket in Green Bay.

Steve Conard, 39, allegedly told a coworker he had to have the Fender Telecaster guitar, and that it was "too expensive to be in a crypt," the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

The instrument was in a casket being moved from a nearby cemetery to the Allouez Catholic Cemetery's mausoleum Thursday when Conard allegedly made his move.

"This isn't something I normally do; I just have a respect for fine musical instruments," Conard allegedly told investigators over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

The guitar belonged to 67-year-old Army veteran Randall Jourdan, who died last week, according to the Smoking Gun. Jourdan reportedly played guitar for more than 40 years and his son, William, told police the Fender was his "pride and joy.”

“William stated Randall told everyone that he wanted to be buried with the guitar," police said in a criminal complaint.

The guitar was found in Conard's home and returned to the family. It was then entombed in a crypt with Jourdan, the AP reports.

Photo by Dave Haygarth via Flickr.