Thieves steal $28K worth of musical instruments from UW Humanities building

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- The UW-Madison Police Department is investigating after $28,000 worth of musical instruments were stolen from the Humanities building during the Thanksgiving recess.

The UW Humanities building at 455 N. Park St. (Source: UW-Madison)

Police say suspects broke into the building’s basement at 455 N. Park St. and stole the instruments between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1. The building, including the basement, is open to all during normal hours.

Authorities say the thieves stole six instruments - including flutes, cellos and violins, worth about $28,000 total.

Samantha Carter said she was "dumbfounded," when she discovered her violin missing from her locker. She said her violin is worth about $10,000.

"Our personal instruments are huge investments," Carter said. "They’re each their own piece of art, and it sounds kind of like an exaggeration but they’re all as unique as people. We learned how to play that particular instrument."

Carter has been offered a free rental violin from her school, but she said having to change instruments in the middle of learning audition will be difficult.

No suspects have been identified at this time.

Marc Lovicott, the director of communications with UW police, said this case is a priority.

"We're currently working with the building managers at the humanities (building) to make sure the building is more secure," Lovicott said. "We're working with them to see what we can do to help prevent this in the future."

UW police ask that anyone with information about this crime to contact them at (608) 264-2677.

UW police offered tips:

- Be aware of suspicious activity, such an unknown person trying to open various doors to see if they are unlocked.
- Lock your door and secure your belongings, even if you’re going to be gone for a short period of time, especially if you’re in a building that’s open to the public. It takes just seconds for someone to steal your property.