Thief caught on camera breaking into Fresno piano store to steal Mickey Mouse doll

Corin Hoggard Image
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
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Surveillance video captured the man smashing the store's window, grabbing the Mickey Mouse doll and walking away.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno piano store is recovering from thousands of dollars of damage done by a thief caught on camera - a destructive act with a surprising target.

The sound of tickled ivories puts a smile on Jim Fishback's face.

But what he saw in silent surveillance video from inside Fresno Piano Gallery last Friday struck a sad chord. Someone smashed a rock through the front window and broke in.

Shattered glass and damaged pianos greeted Fishback as soon as he got to the store.

"I think it skimmed across the keys because there's a lot of chipped keys," he said as he showed Action News the white piano and its bench.

They took the brunt of the rock's force, but it did damage on a sizable scale and Fishback couldn't figure out why.

"Went through the whole store, nothing was out of place and so we figured it was just vandalism until I went back to my desk and reviewed the security footage," he said.

A quick rewind revealed the crook's target: a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal Fishback found a few years ago at a Clovis antique store.

The $25 toy moved around the store, posing on pianos like the sorcerer's apprentice.

"People loved him and commented about it," Fishback said. "He kind of became a fun part of the store and we never thought that much about it until he was gone."

What was left of the glass window hung precariously as Fresno police came to the store within minutes and investigated the break-in.

They're trying to identify the man who actually came up to the window twice in a few minutes -- just before 2 a.m. Friday.

"I'm hoping that if he's doing other things like this, maybe more serious than what happened to us, that he will be caught," Fishback said.

He says the damage adds up to more than $6000 and he'll have to sell the white piano at a discount.

But since posting the video on Facebook, people have rallied behind the store. Fishback says the goofy crime won't put a damper on his love for music.

He won't replace Mickey -- but he will bring the mouse back in musical form.