Man tries to steal flute from Wisconsin music store by sticking it down his pants

An attempted theft by a cheeky customer did not play well at a Wisconsin music shop.

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A store surveillance camera caught a man taking a $500 Gemeinhardt flute from a display rack and sticking it down the back of his pants, the Janesville Gazette reported.

A video posted to the Facebook page of Voigt Music Center in Janesville shows the man walking around the shop with the instrument in his pants and running up his back, WMTV reported.

“That was shocking, that part. I couldn’t help but laugh about it,” store owner Tony Farrell told the television station. “He took it right off the wall and walked right over here with it in his hand, He went right behind where a camera is and put it down the back of his pants. It was just so ridiculous. I just would not expect someone to be so stupid that they would hide something right in front of a security camera,”

Farrell's mother, Londa Farrell, who was working behind the counter during the Sept. 27 incident, said the man tried to distract store personnel with questions about mouthpieces of various woodwind instruments, the Gazette reported.

“It was so blatant,” Londa Farrell told the newspaper. “His jacket was up. He didn’t even bother to pull it down. You could see the price tag (on the flute) and everything. I couldn’t help but shake my head.”

Londa Farrell confronted the man and retrieved the flute, and the would-be thief left, WMTV reported.

Tony Farrell said he could not imagine trying to sell this glute flute.

"I wasn't sure what to do with the flute. I didn't feel good about anyone ever having to touch it again," Tony Farrell told WMTV. "I couldn't, in good conscience, let anyone ever put their lips to that instrument at any time, you know?"

Farrell decided to turn the instrument into a lamp, the television station reported.

"It's kind of a reminder to people that maybe you should think twice before you steal from a small business," Farrell told WMTV. "We've had lots of dumb criminals before that have gotten caught doing stupid things before but this is the best."

Farrell said the lamp was not for sale.

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