MANTECA (CBS13) — A Manteca man’s music hit a sour note after a thief stole his century-old accordion.

It’s an instrument he’s had since he was a teenager. Now, with the community’s help, he’s hoping to get it back.

Peter Torres, 86, woke up earlier this week to find his antique accordion stolen.

“Oh why, so why would somebody do that? They can’t even play that,” Torres said.

It was taken from inside his truck, parked in front of his Manteca home.

“I had the window open like that and he went in and unlocked it,” Torres said.

The black instrument, with white buttons instead of a piano-style keyboard, was given to him when he was 14 years old by his uncle, who brought it over from Germany.

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“It’s like a harmonica when you pull out and you get one tone when you bring it in it gives you another tone and they are very hard to play,” Torres said.

Torres learned to play without lessons on the accordion. He also has another one which he rarely uses anymore. In his younger days, he even performed on stage with his five-piece band, The Pete Torres Combo.

“I played every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the 400 Club in San Francisco,” Torres said.

Now he’s hoping to get back the sentimental instrument that’s brought so much joy to the community, where he’s often asked to perform on special occasions, even for strangers.

“They loved it,” Torres said. “I made them happy cause I played happy birthday for them or anniversary, or for the kids, I played ‘It’s A Small World.’ It’s just something that I like to do for people.”

Late Thursday Torres got a call that someone had found an accordion and turned it in to police. He’s hoping it’s his and he’ll have it back in his hands soon.

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