jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

October 18, 2005

Canadian Jazz Pianist Celebrates Recovery of Stolen Equipment

Written by
cindy mcleod

As I reported in a post early last week, jazz pianist Paul Tobey was recently robbed of his life’s work when his home was burgled and his computer equipment stolen. In a surprising stroke of good fortune, Tobey has had his computer, complete with files, returned by a good citizen and an honest computer shop owner.

Juno nominated Tobey was devastated to learn of the robbery, among the essential files were a recently filmed documentary and the music soundtrack he’d written to underscore the film.

After the theft and a $5,000 reward were publicized last week, Tobey was approached by a man claiming he’d heard about the incident on the street. The man offered his services in retrieving the items, and on Saturday the man showed up on Tobey’s doorstep with the missing computer, complete with Tobey’s intact and undamaged files on its hard drive.

A second missing computer was returned to Tobey a few days later when he received a call from Jeff Hill, the owner of Hill’s Computer Service in Brantford, Ontario. Hill said he’d purchased equipment from a young man who showed up at his store in a taxi. “I had no idea it was stolen,” said Hill. “He told me it belonged to his father who was going bankrupt and needed the money.” It was when Hill opened up the files that he knew he had stumbled upon something that “looked very personal.” “I had no idea this was such a big deal”, said Hill, “I just thought I was doing the right thing.”

Tobey says that he and his wife now feel they must put their home up for sale and move from the neighbourhood, possibly the city. The incident and the ensuing publicity has made them “too well known.” “We can’t stay here now,” he said. All the equipment has been moved elsewhere to ensure its safety.

It’s a rare occurrence to retrieve stolen computer equipment, especially with the files intact. God bless honest citizens who will allow us all to continue to benefit from the vital work of this wonderful jazz pianist. We celebrate your good fortune Paul!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.