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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some students in the LSU music program were hit hard. They returned from their Thanksgiving break to find their instruments had been stolen from campus.
The students are devastated. They spend countless hours practicing. It is their life. They said whoever stole their instruments is putting their futures in jeopardy.
Chung-Hui Hsu learned to play the violin in Taiwan at a young age. She came to the United States to pursue her dream of playing in a professional orchestra. Hsu has been perfecting her talent in the LSU School of Music Graduate Program with the fiddle her grandfather gave her ten years ago.
Last week Hsu discovered her childhood instrument was stolen from her school locker. "When I first saw, I thought maybe I'm on the wrong floor. So, I go upstairs and I opened it and the violin was not here," said Hsu.
Hsu soon learned she was not the only one. Her colleague Raul Gomez's locker and a few others had also been broken into. Gomez is missing a mixer. "It's essential for what I do for a living, which is perfect violin. Many of my shows need amplification," he said
The students are making do by borrowing their friends' instruments and equipment, but they said in an audition an instrument can make or break them. "I'm looking for my violin because the size is a 7/8. For me it's easier to play," said Hsu.
Surveillance video obtained from the school lobby shows the alleged suspect dashing out of the lobby with two cases. Hsu believes the one in the alleged suspect's left hand is hers.
The students and their professors claim these break-ins are not isolated. They want the university to do more to protect their invaluable investments. "That's enough to catch it on camera, but we need to find a way to prevent this from happening," said Gomez.
LSU Police Sergeant Blake Tabor said detectives recovered a bolt cutter near the lockers, and that they do have a person of interest. He said officers are keeping a close eye on that building.