A Sacramento musician determined to track down a distinctive drum and the person who stole it from his home studio earlier this month led today to the arrest of a suspect and recovery of the instrument.
Chris Amato, a local musician and business owner, said he believes the drum was stolen during a residential burglary June 4. Taken was a snare drum that he plays in the City of Sacramento Pipe Band, a bagpipe group that represents Sacramento at events throughout the West Coast. The drum, valued at approximately $1,000, was handmade by a firm in Northern Ireland and is the only one in the region in that particular color, Amato said.
He reported the theft to the Sacramento Police Department but also started his own investigation, contacting area music stores and inquiring whether anyone had attempted to sell the instrument. When he contacted the Guitar Center at Arden Fair, he learned that someone had tried to sell the drum and the store clerk had retained the person's contact information.
Amato reported this to police and they worked out a plan to identify the suspect. Amato said he contacted the suspect and posed as a potential buyer. Police then posed as prospective buyers who out-bid him. Officers arranged a meeting with the suspect, and at 12:15 p.m. today they arrested 27-year-old Jaspreet Hayer (pictured) and recovered the drum.
"It was an awesome day," Amato said.
He doesn't think the person who stole the drum realized its uniqueness. The music store representatives he talked with said they didn't purchase the drum because they didn't know how to appraise it.
Amato said he had several other drums in his studio that weren't taken but probably could have been easily sold.
Hayer was booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of receiving stolen property.