After man sticks flute down his pants, Wisconsin music store turns it into a lamp

A music store in Wisconsin had to do some creative thinking to salvage a flute that was sullied by a brazen shoplifter.

Voigt Music Center in Janesville posted surveillance video to Facebook last Friday of a not-so-smooth criminal — a man who tried to steal a flute by hiding it in his pants, the store says.

The video shows a man casually strolling through the store with a flute sticking out of the back of his pants. It appears his shirt and jacket were intended to cover the instrument, but got caught on the top of flute. The instrument seemed to be shoved down not only his pants, but his underwear.

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A music store in Wisconsin says a man tried to steal a flute by hiding it in his pants. Screngrab: Voigt Music Center

The store says an eagle-eyed employee saw the flute and confronted the man before he was able to leave the store. The man got away, though not before handing over the flute.

But with the “tainted” instrument back in their possession, Voigt Music Center was faced with an unfortunate dilemma: what’s a store to do with a flute that may well have been flush against a shoplifter’s butt?

“Make a lamp out of it, of course!” the store wrote on Facebook. “Now proudly on display in our front window... eat your heart out, Old Man Parker - this beats your leg lamp any day!” the post said, referencing the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.”

It’s unclear if the store contacted police, but store staff members do hope to put a “name with the face.” They say the man drove off with a woman in a brown, “Blazer-like truck” and as one might guess, he’s never welcome back in the store.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.