UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — Music students returning to the University of Illinois at Chicago Monday found the doors ripped off their lockers and the instruments inside stolen.
The break-in happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, when someone shoved paper into the lock of a door to keep it from closing, said Anne Ranallo, a spokeswoman for the school.
Some of the items stolen from the Music Department at 1040 W. Harrison St. were the students' personal instruments, while others were on loan from the school.
Though it was unclear on Monday exactly what was taken, three instruments that were removed from the nine broken lockers were recovered in the hallway Monday morning, Ranallo said.
Student Dustin Drenk, 29, estimated each stolen instrument likely cost $1,000 or more.
"This is just out of proportion to anything I've ever seen. This is unprecedented to anything that has happened here," said Drenk, who is seeking his second bachelor's degree in music composition.
Drenk said the loss was extremely distressing considering the tight budget in the department.
"That's one less instrument that we got. It's definitely a big hit," Drenk said.
Giovanni Garcia, an 18-year-old freshman jazz performer, said a flugelhorn he was borrowing from the school was missing after the break-in. He said he would have felt worse if it had been his personal instrument, like some of his classmates.
"There were people with their own personal instruments in there. If it were mine, I'd be pretty angry," Garcia said. "Someone was able to come in here and take all that stuff. ... Why would they do it?"