MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A stolen Penske truck containing hundreds of organ pipes from Calvary Episcopal Church downtown was recovered by police Tuesday morning at Mountain Terrace and Bethlehem.
Church leaders said nearly 2,000 pipes removed from an organ chamber last week for restoration were inside the moving truck when someone stole it from outside their church over the weekend.
Calvary said it appears 15 of the 55 or so crates that were loaded on the truck are still missing, but they are hopeful they will still be recovered.
Spencer Organ Company out of Boston was four days into the restoration project when the pipes were stolen. The company’s owner, Joseph Rotella, who is doing most of the work, told WREG the organ pipes had little to no street value but would have cost the church close to a million dollars to replace.
The church said due to the diligence of Rotella, the exact measurements of the pipes were recorded before being packed, and any still missing can be recreated.
The restoration of the organ pipes is expected to take about 18 months to complete.
Church leaders said they are grateful to Memphis Police officers who noticed the Penske truck while on patrol and to everyone who helped them get the word out to locate the stolen vehicle.
If you have any information about the theft or have seen any of the missing crates or organ pipes, call CrimeStoppers at (901)528-CASH.