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It’s too common these days that we hear about instruments being stolen. Read below for some tips on how to protect your horn.
1. Make sure your instrument is insured! We are happy to offer official appraisals for insurance purposes at $35 per appraisal. An appraisal is included with the purchase of any instrument, up to 2 years after purchase. Be sure to check with your insurance company for the details regarding insurance coverage and claims. Protect your horn and investment –it might seem annoying to have an extra expense, but the insurance is worth it.
2. Never leave your instrument alone in the car. This is tempting, especially when you are running a quick errand. Your horn is a valuable and unique instrument. There have been many incidents of thieves stealing horns from cars while the owner is just popping in a restaurant for a quick bite or picking up a few items at the store. Do not give someone this opportunity to steal your instrument! It might be a hassle, but carrying your horn into the store or restaurant is your best option. Houghton Horns has a number of Marcus Bonna cases here. Many of these are compact, backpack cases, that look no different than a regular bag!
3. Never leave your instrument in plain sight, whether in the car or at your home. This may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to stop a thief is to not advertise the chance for them to steal. If you leave your shiny horn on a stand in your house in the front window with the blinds open, a thief is more likely to take advantage of the situation. The same goes for the car –while we recommend never leaving your horn in the car, if you must, do not leave it in plain sight. Put some jackets over it –anything to make it look less appealing.
4. Never trust a stranger. Never ask someone you do not personally know to watch your instrument for you while you step out for a bit. This can be common in airports, such as when you are traveling with a small suitcase, an instrument, and a personal bag. Even though it might seem excessive, carry all of your belongings to the kiosk to make your snack purchase or to the restroom. No matter how tempting, don’t ask the friendly looking seat-neighbor to watch your instrument for you while you make a quick trip.
5. Know your horn’s information. This is information you will need when insuring the horn. Knowing the brand, model, and serial number are very important. If someone has stolen your horn and all you can report to the police and the horn community is that it is a Conn horn, it will be very difficult to track down. If you can say that it is a Conn, Model 8D, Serial #: xxxxxx , this will be much more helpful and give you a higher chance of getting your instrument back. Surprisingly, many players do not know the make and model of their instrument or where to find the serial number. Don’t be embarrassed to ask a teacher or colleague.
-Dr. Sally Podrebarac