Theft suspect charged

A 27-year-old Vancouver male has been charged by the RCMP with the theft of musical instruments worth more than $40,000 from lockers at the School of Music over the Christmas break.

Aaron Patrick Switzer, a former UBC Arts student and ex-UBC employee, has been charged with five counts of break, enter and theft and one count of theft at Richmond Provincial Court and has been remanded into custody.

According to Staff Sgt. Lloyde Plante of the campus RCMP detachment, Switzer allegedly stole the instruments for money to support a drug addiction. With the help of the Vancouver Police Department's property crime section, Plante says the RCMP were able to locate two of the stolen items--a pair of clarinets--at a local pawn shop.

A number of musical instruments belonging to students and the university were stolen from School of Music lockers last month. Among the items still missing are three trumpets, six trombones, two French horns, and a new bass clarinet.