Music department sees increase of thefts
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2012 15:09
Since the beginning of the fall semester, six students have fallen victim to having their instruments stolen from a locker room in the Performing Arts Center’s music department.
To date, $15,000 to $20,000 worth of instruments has been stolen. According to the 2012-2013 UCF Department of Music Student Handbook, unauthorized removal of any music equipment constitutes a “theft," which can be prosecuted as a felony.
“It’s a real tragedy because so many of the music students are already at such a disadvantage with having to move all of their equipment for various rehearsals and practice sessions. We’ve been able to supply a secure storage space for them, and this kind of theft makes us have to double check everything and recheck that commitment,” Jeffrey M. Moore, music professor and chair of the UCF Music Department, said.
Instruments that belong to UCF are covered under the university’s insurance and will be replaced, but the policy does not cover private property. Students who had personal instruments taken will have to replace the stolen property themselves. However, many renters and homeowners policies cover musical instrument theft.
There are currently no security cameras in the instrument locker room. However, there are cameras throughout the building itself. The music department is taking additional safety measures to protect students and prevent future thefts from occurring.
“We are committed to making sure the university provides a safe place for the students, not just to study and learn and practice, but also to store their instruments,” Moore said.
In an effort to identify the person or people responsible for the stolen items, authorities are currently going through video feed and notifying local pawn shops to see if any serial numbers or barcodes match the instruments that were stolen.
Chelsea Johnson, a senior music education major, said a bolt cutter was used to cut the locks off the lockers and steal the instruments. A clarinet, trombone, French horn and various saxophones have been reported stolen.
“I don’t understand why someone would ever want to steal from music students. This is our future they are stealing from us. It’s scary; I don’t put my horn in my locker anymore unless it’s during the day. No one leaves their instruments in their lockers overnight anymore,” Johnson said.
UCF police are currently investigating the incident. If you have any information regarding the thefts, please contact the UCF police department at 407-823-5555.
Students can register their personal property with the UCF police department for free by visiting police.ucf.edu/PropertyReg.html online or the Crime Prevention Office in the John T. Washington Center in person. Registered property will be easier to recover in case of theft.