• Police: Man 'obsessed' with instrument admits to stealing $200K organ from church


    PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh police said they have solved an unusual and unlikely theft case from a church in Mount Washington.

    According to investigators, detectives received a call from a former employee of St. Justin's Catholic Church, saying that he removed a $200,000 organ from the church for "safe keeping" on Feb. 22.

    Police said the man had a key to the church and had maintained the large and pricey instrument for six years.

    PREVIOUS STORY: Organ valued at $200K stolen from Mt. Washington church

    According to the criminal complaint the man was, "obsessed with the beauty of the organ and did not want to see it damaged."

    St. Justin's Parish had been closed and was in the process of moving articles from the church to St. Mary of the Mount Parish when the organ went missing, police said.

    The man said extreme temperature changes caused damage to the instrument, and that is why he wanted to keep in a safer place.

    "The former employee reported to detectives in an interview that he was thinking with his heart and not with his head. He only wanted to preserve the beauty of the organ," the complaint stated.

    The former employee said after hearing about the organ being stolen, he contacted the pastor of the church and admitted to taking the organ. He then made arrangements to have the instrument returned to the church.

    Police said St. Justin's Church will not press charges.

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