A $40,000 cello was stolen from an SUV parked in Uptown, and its owner is scanning the Internet for any evidence of where it might be.

The cello, two bows and the instrument's case were taken from Scott Lykins' vehicle sometime between 1 and 8 a.m. March 12 while it was parked in the 3300 block of Hennepin Avenue S. in Minneapolis.

Lykins, artistic director for the annual Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, acknowledged the SUV might have been left unlocked while he was with friends celebrating his 26th birthday. He said it's not a vehicle he often drives, and he was unfamiliar with how it locks.

Lykins, who grew up in the Brainerd area and now lives in South St. Paul, bought the cello in 2007 from maker James N. McKean of Connecticut and has been playing it three to four hours every day since.

Although the cello is insured, Lykins is lamenting that he won't have it when he attends an audition Wednesday in Rochester, N.Y.

"I'll have to pick up a cello that day," he said. "It will be a bad audition."

Meantime, he said, he's scanning eBay, Craigslist and other Internet resale sites in hopes of finding his instrument.

Anyone with information about the stolen cello is asked to call Police Sgt. Phil Gangnon at 612-673-5590.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482