One-of-a-kind cello worth $100K stolen from San Diego hotel - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

One-of-a-kind cello worth $100K stolen from San Diego hotel

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A Los Angeles musician is heartbroken after his prized possession was stolen from a San Diego hotel room. John Walz says he left his room at the Town and Country to go to dinner Wednesday night - when he came back, his $100,000 dollar cello was gone.

“When I opened the door, first thing I noticed was a chair overturned and then it took me just a moment to realize, ‘oh no, my cello is gone,” said Walz.

He is in San Diego for a music festival for students and young adults at SDSU. He arrived at the Town and Country hotel in Mission Valley on Wednesday with his Mario Miralles cello.

Walz then left for dinner and when he returned the prized instrument was gone.

"They know the door was opened around 9:49, so he left a little bit before 10 o’clock,” said Walz.

He and hotel security called police that night.

Detectives arrived Thursday morning to collect evidence, but so far haven’t found the instrument or his sheet music that contain decades of performance notes. The thief also made off with some expensive cello bows, a computer, backpack and glasses Walz needs to perform with. 

The cello bears a manufacturer's label that reads, "Mario Miralles, 2010 Alta Dena, California."

Authorities say since it is a one-of-a-kind item it will be harder for someone to do something like pawn or sell it. Getting the word out will also make it more difficult for the person with the cello to get rid of it. Police said they have alerted local pawn shops and law enforcement in the area. 

Police also said Walz's was the only room at the hotel burglarized, though they don't think he was targeted. 

Walz’s friends in the music industry offered to loan him their cellos for the time being. While it’ll get him through his upcoming performances, it’s still not the same as his own.

"These instruments are not only incredibly valuable, they are a part of us,” said Walz. “We feel like they're part of the family and you spend years finding the right instrument and making it just part of you.”

While some viewers may not know Walz and his cello personally, it’s likely you’ve heard his work.

"I've played on about 1,500 film scores including “Titanic,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Back To The Future,” “Indiana Jones,” and the last two "Star Wars," he said. 

Walz is hoping the thief or someone who knows them does the right thing and turns in the cello.

It’s valued at about $100,00 dollars, but Walz says it’s not just about the money.

"As far as I'm concerned, it is more priceless than that,” he said.

Walz was also affected by the recent wildfires with flames coming withing 10 feet of his home. 

There's a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone with information leading to an arrest. To report a tip call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or visit

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