Thieves steal saxophones from east Wichita business

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- For the second time in a week, Wichita police are investigating a burglary in which tens of thousands of dollars in music equipment were stolen.

This most recent music store burglary was reported just before 5:30 a.m. at Wichita Band Instrument Company in the 2500 block of East Douglas. The thieves got into the store by breaking a back window.

The suspects stole 6 saxophones, described by shop owner Gary Ray as "six of finest saxophones you could buy anywhere." Four of the saxophones were new. The others ranged from vintage to the very rare Grafton Alto.

"They didn't randomly pick up those instruments. They knew what they wanted," said Gary's son Jonathan who serves as the company's sales manager.

Wichita Band Instrument Company has been in business since 1953 but break ins have been few and far between, the owner said. The last burglary at the shop happened more than a decade ago. In that case, some of the instruments were recovered and the suspects were located.

The Ray family says they have to wonder if this week's burglary is related to other recent music store burglaries.

Last week, thieves stole violins from Jim Starkey Music Center in Wichita. Jonathan Ray says he also heard of a recent break in at a Topeka music store in which thieves took saxophones.

"Makes you think all these might be connected," Jonathan Ray said.

Police say it's too early in the investigation to tell.

In response to the burglary at their shop, the Ray's say they are no longer keeping expensive items out on the shelves.

"We've tightened up security. We're making changes," Jonathan Ray said.

There are currently no suspects in custody. No descriptions were available.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

The saxophones stolen are the following:
- Grafton Alto
- Conn 6m Alto
- Selmer Paris Super Action 80 II Alto
- Yanagisawa T-901 Tenor
- Yanagisawa A-901 Alto
- Yanagisawa A-991 Alto

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