$7,000 flute stolen from Southern Miss student

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - What is a musician without his or her instrument? Southern Miss Junior, Aliesha Phillips, is finding out.

"Going in ensembles, and seeing people play, and I'm sitting there with nothing in may hand," said Phillips.

Phillips has been upset for days.

"It is like cutting off your arm and expecting to function the same way. It is hard. It's like your flute is your extra appendage," said Phillips.

Phillips, who is a flute performance and education major, says she is also a member of the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band. One week ago, during the band's practice, on Pride Field, she says someone stole her flute. But she says it's not just any flute.

"It is a Haynes Q2 professional silver flute. It is worth $7,000," said Phillips.

Phillips says after practice she walked over to the edge of the field, where she and other band members set aside their things, and it was gone. She says after looking around the area, she called 911.

"I called 911. When I called them they said this is not a real emergency," said Phillips.

So, she went to campus police and filed a report, and she didn't stop there.

"I've sent more than 300 messages on Facebook. I've been passing out flyers. I've called Amazon. I've called Craigslist, EBay. I made accounts with them all. They are not going to get anything for it," said Phillips.

But if someone turns it in they will receive a $600 reward. Phillips has these flyers posted all around the campus.

"Just take the $600. I won't turn you in just bring my instrument back. This means more to me than 600 bucks," said Phillips.

It means $7,000 more. Phillips says the flute wasn't insured, which leaves her mother paying a bill she can barely afford.

"My mom sacrificed so much just to get this flute," said Phillips.

Phillips says at the level she is on as a performer, not having a professional flute will affect her grades, auditions and performances.

USM Police say they are investigating the case. The officials say in situations of missing or stolen property they work with the property owner, even looking for the items off campus. Campus police say students should keep a couple of things in mind when it comes to their property:

  • Don't create the opportunity for someone to steal your belongings.
  • Lock it up. This includes your car, and dorm room.
  • Know the serial numbers to all of your property.
  • Don't wait days or a week to file a report of missing or stolen property.

Phillips is asking anyone with information to contact her at Bestflute4u100@aol.com or 601-218-0831

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.