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Aug 21, 2014 1:53 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Burglar steals musician's saxophones

TUCSON - A local musician is searching for stolen saxophones worth thousands of dollars.

On August 12, Justin Berry's home was burglarized near Grant Road and Campbell Avenue. It was during the day when he was not home. The burglar stole two saxophones and a laptop. Berry thinks similar replacement instruments would cost about $15,000.

"The support from the Tucson music community has been amazing," Berry said. "I had a performance and rehearsals coming up that week, and so many people offered to loan me their instruments."

Through his connections at music stores across town, Berry learned someone tried selling one of the stolen mouthpieces, worth hundreds of dollars, at one local shop. The shop provided surveillance photos that Berry posted online.

News 4 Tucson is not sharing those photos because Tucson Police have not named the person in the photos as a person of interest or suspect. It is not clear if or why the man may have had the stolen item.

One of Berry's neighbors found the post and recognized the man in the pictures. The neighbor did not want to give his name for this report, but he said that same person broke into his house on August 1. He talked to Berry about the theft on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's the same guy," the neighbor said. "I'm 100 percent confident. So if I saw him again in person, I would absolutely be able to tell who it was. But from the photos, it's him."

The neighbor said he was home when somebody rang his doorbell. When the neighbor did not answer, the burglar broke in through the back of the house. The neighbor then called police. They told him to leave the house and wait for officers. After officers left, he went back inside and eventually found the burglar under his toddler's crib.

"He didn't act aggressive," he said. "You could tell that he seemed to want out of the house."

The neighbor said he escorted the burglar out of his home with a golf club.

"We're not angry that he tried to take stuff," he said. "We're angry that he broke into our house. Hid under our son's crib for close to two hours. It's just a feeling of violation."

Berry said one of his saxophones is a collector's item that belonged to a musician named Milt Yaner. Berry said he doesn't want the thief's life ruined with a felony conviction. He just wants his instruments back.

"I don't want to see him suffer," Berry said. "I don't want to see him breaking into other people's homes either. So if there's some sort of middle ground that we can find there, that would be great."

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