Marimba stolen from Howard Amon Park finally returned to its rig - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Marimba stolen from Howard Amon Park finally returned to its rightful home

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RICHLAND, WA - Howard Amon Park is one of the busiest hangouts in Richland. So, it's no surprise a lot of people were so upset to find out a really cool instrument in the park had been stolen. But tonight, it's where it's supposed to be.

"They're a little unique," said Jason Watson. "They're not like a traditional instrument."

Just a few months after this marimba made its debut at Howard Amon Park, someone stole it.

"It was a real bummer," said Watson. "The whole community seemed really upset about it."

About a year and a half later, Watson was looking online for a new instrument to add to his eclectic collection.

"Just one Sunday morning I was looking at Craigslist to maybe buy an antique drum or an interesting music instrument because I kind of collect them and I saw somebody posted a marimba," said Watson.

When he met up with the seller…"I recognized it right then and there," said Watson. "That's the stolen marimba from Howard Amon Park."

For just 20 bucks, he bought back an instrument that's valued at more than $7,000.

"Giving this back to where it belongs is definitely a no-brainer," said Watson.

But it's more than an instrument to Watson. Coincidentally, he's on the Kennewick Art Commission, so he knows firsthand that a little music can make a big difference.

"This hit close to home," said Watson. "I think music is a big part of our community and giving children the ability to play something like this in the park where maybe they don't have access to this in their own homes is fantastic."

Richland Parks and Recreation tells us this marimba is the first of a few outdoor instruments they plan to put in Howard Amon Park. Watson says they plan to follow their lead and put a few instruments in Lawrence Scott Park in Kennewick.

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