Thieves steal instruments from SJSU marching band

December 22, 2009 7:01:53 PM PST
A Grinch has targeted the San Jose State University marching band. Thieves have stolen $20,000 worth of saxophones and other instruments. The instruments are not insured, so the band is hoping for a holiday miracle.

In 25 years of storing band equipment in locked trailers at San Jose State, there has never been a problem, until now. Band Director Scott Pierson says on Friday night thieves with bolt cutters stole eight saxophones and two trombones.

"We had just turned in the instruments after a recording session and had them neatly stacked right here," Pierson said.

The theft is a huge blow to San Jose State's 144 member marching band. The precision team is a well respected tradition on campus.

"We got a pretty good band and that's pretty unfortunate," student Kevin Hung Dao said.

"I think it's a shame on them for taking our band's instruments, I mean that's horrible, that really is," San Jose State staff member Rhonda Dahlgren said.

Every instrument has a serial number and every case is clearly marked as Spartan property. Pawn shops generally will not touch merchandise like that and investigators fear its criminal value is in recycled metal.

"Our police department has launched an investigation which remains underway, we're searching for leads," San Jose State spokesperson Pat Lopes Harris said.

As police move forward, the plot thickens. Pierson says there was also a recent incident with a snare drum and other items taken out of a percussion studio window and hidden in tall bamboo. It was quickly recovered.

Tuesday, the band also got a little break. Workers found several percussion instruments.

"Now five minutes ago some of our San Jose State facilities workers found this stuff, which came out of the box which was found out of the percussion trailer right there; unbelievable," Pierson said.

Even the surprise discovery though, does not bring back the big stuff.

"They say it's going to take a miracle to recover any of the horns back; we're just looking for any sort of help from the community," band member Eduardo Higareda said.

The band is hoping a Santa with music in his heart can replace the silence left by a thieving Grinch.


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