Shop Owner Out $500 after North High Band Director Pawns Instruments
(SIOUX CITY, IA) A high school band director accused of stealing, selling and pawning instruments from school. So how did he finally get caught?
The owner of a shop Massey pawned with told Siouxland news he's out $500 because police seized the four instruments Massey brought in.
That's just a fraction of what Massey's accused of stealing. The question is, how could he get away with it for 9 years?
Don't shoot the messenger. That's what Joshua Lebowich wants Sioux City to know.
"They knew they were here because we did our job and reporting them in the system. So I'm the middle man and I'm the one that gets..." says Joshua Lebowich, Owner of A-Gordon's Jewelry and Loan.
Kevin Massey has been the band director at North high school for the last 7 years before that he taught at Bishop Heelan.
Last week Massey confessed to another teacher he had been pawning and selling band instruments since 2004.
"I believe his parents were in the music field their entire careers and their life and I just made the assumption which you know, you shouldn't do but I thought it was his personal collection. I never batted an eye thinking that he would steal from the school," says Lebowich.
Most instruments have a model number and a serial number on the back and whenever one comes into Gordon's pawn shop, all of the information is logged and given to the Sioux City police department once a week.
"If the number comes up flagged stolen anywhere because it's nationwide then we get a phone call from the police department," he says.
An item would only be reported stolen if the school took regular inventories. The Sioux City School District says that happens once a year.
But a district spokeswoman didn't know who was responsible for taking those inventories or whether the district reported any missing instruments.
For Lebowich the fight has just begun.
"We're going to be a part of the case I believe. I've contacted my attorneys. I want to be paid back I don't feel that it's right that I am out any money whatsoever," he says.
Because if Massey doesn't have the money to pay back these pawn shops...
'It's gone. Nobody's going to get any money back. If they say that there's $51,000 between the 4 pawn shops or 3 pawn shops in town between all of us we are completely out. We don't get any restitution," he says.
Here's one possible reason the instruments Massey brought in wouldn't have turned up in a database: Joshua says Massey was careful to always pay back the loans on the items he pawned and take the instruments back.
Kevin Massey is now on leave. His next court hearing is April 15th.