Thief steals equipment worth thousands from local music teacher

Music teacher Zelphia Otis fell victim to a robbery. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( – A local music teacher fell victim to a robbery and was unable to teach her students after someone stole her music equipment and laptop out of her car Thursday afternoon.

Zelphia Otis was shocked when she walked to her car and saw her things were missing.

“The first thing I thought I grabbed my head because I never leave my equipment in my car,” Otis said.

The thief got away with a laptop with music software on it, two microphones, headphones, cables and an amp all worth close to $4,000.

“I’m telling you, I am so lost at this point,” she said.

Otis said her 16-year-old car doesn’t lock properly and only left the equipment in her car because she was babysitting her granddaughter for a short time before going to the Christian Activity Center where she runs the music department.

“We are talking about children who are totally impoverished, children from East St. Louis predominantly who have nothing, they live at the center,” she said.

And this isn’t just a loss for the kids at the center, it’s a loss for Otis as she has gigs booked through June and can’t do any of them without her laptop.

“I slipped up, and I got caught. I’m paying the price, but so many others are paying the price too,” she said. “Kids should not have to suffer for foolish mistakes and the trusting guide I have, they really shouldn’t.”

Otis said she hopes the person who stole her things does the right thing and returns them.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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