Somehow over the weekend, an ambitious thief walked off with a large pedal harp – and a bassoon – stored behind a locked door at Friends University, according to its owner.
Raul Rangel, a music major at Friends, discovered the instruments missing from the university’s Riney Fine Arts Center on Monday morning, he said. He last saw his harp on Friday, he said.
His stolen harp, which he values between $11,000-$12,000, is an Aoyama Model 42-B with the serial No. 1-0163.
Rangel said he drove to New York to buy it about three months ago. He said purchasing it was “like buying a car, pretty much.”
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His bassoon – which he was renting from the university to play in its concert band – was also missing Monday morning, he said.
Luckily, he said, his viola and oboe were left alone.
Both instruments were stored in the “string locker room,” an area that requires a code to access, he said. That code is only given out to select students and faculty members, Rangel said.
Over the weekend, the university hosted its spring opera, “The Mikado.”
As of Monday afternoon, he said he had not heard of any other student’s instruments being stolen, but his percussion professor’s iPad was also reportedly stolen over the weekend, he said.
A report has been made with the Wichita Police Department, and it has also been reported to Friends University’s Campus Security, he said.
Rangel plays the harp for the South Kansas Symphony, the Friends Community Orchestra and the Bethany Community Orchestra, he said.
“What sucks is it’s a very delicate instrument,” he said. “If they have it outside or in a garage, it’s just going to completely ruin it.”