Uw-madison police are investigating a string of burglaries costing students thousands of dollars in stolen property.
Madalyn o'neill tells us tonight...why these particular crimes are relatively unique ..
And how you can keep an eye and ear out to help solve them.
Theft is one of the most common crimes campus police deal with.
But dealing with nearly 30 thousand dollars worth of stolen instruments is a new one.
That's a lot of money ..
But for one student, it's about so much more samantha carter violin stolen uw madison senior 13:20 "at first it didn't seem real."
The loss of an instrument for a musician ... thomas huffmaster grad student, uw-madison 12:58 "it's horrible whenever you hear about it."
... can be like losing a friend.
Huffmaster 14:45 "his name is mo."
Uw-madison grad student thomas huffmaster's tuba is safe ..
But he's heard about a rash of stolen instruments locked up in the humanaties building over thanksgiving break.
Huffmaster13:42 "it would devestate me and anyone here."
13:47 carter 20:52 "it's like losing a member of your family or a part of yourself."
One of those instruments was uw senior samantha carter's violin -- the one she's kept by her side for six years and needs for rehearsals and practicing for grad school auditions, now in someone else's hands.
Carter 18:38 "consider the lives you're affecting by doing this."
Carter is sure she locked it up in humanties' basement last wednesday ..
Carter 13:24ish "i was just kind of competely in shock."
... but came back to find it gone sunday afternoon.
Carter 13:28 "then i started to panic."
Carter estimates her violin's value at $10,000.
Uw police say they're investigating reports of six instruments stolen, everything from a picollo to a cello, with a total worth of about $28 thousand dollars.
Marc lovicott uwpd spokesperson/pi o 1:18 "when you think about how valuable these instruments are, not only monetary wise.
We've heard from students who have tests or final exams involving their instrument coming up soon, and now they having nothing to play."
Police say since it appears there was forced entry, these crimes are classified as burglaries -- ones they're making a priority to solve.
Lovicott 1:47 "we're asking our commuity to keep their eyes and ears open for us."
Uwpd's investigation includes keeping an eye on ads for instruments ..
Something carter is asking others to do as well ... hoping to bring her violin back safe and sound.
Carter 21:10ish "i've made so many sacrifices for this instrument and i've been through so much with this instrument."
The director of uw's school of music says the department is doing everything it can to support the affected students, including by loaning them instruments.
But as carter says ..
Practicing on a new instrument had its own difficulties.
Police are also working with humanaties staff on security procedures, hoping to prevent something like this from happening