SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (KGO) --A North Bay band's annual visit to San Francisco, has turned into a disaster, and a criminal case. The band members left their instruments in the usual spot after they finished performing at AT&T Park, but that's the last they've seen of them. It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News.
The band will play on, but the question is -- what are they going to play on with?
Band practice at Analy High School in Sebastopol Wednesday morning had about 100 kids in attendance. The band, however, wasn't quite whole. They're missing instruments.
Camryn Dierke will tell you about what once was her flute.
"It's heartbreaking," she said.
Back at the house her mother, Catrina Dierke, was more direct.
"She walked in the door, slammed the door, started screaming, crying, and she actually could not talk for the longest time," she said.
And from what should have been the warmest of memories.
Last week, the band continued a 20 year tradition with the San Francisco Giants by playing the Star Spangled Banner before a home game. It had been a fine performance, then the trouble started.
Before taking their seats, the band went back to store their instruments in their bus in the parking lot. While doing so, they left one bin on the ground outside. Only later after returning to their own parking lot in Sebastopol, did they realize the unthinkable had happened.
"Somebody took our bin of flutes and clarinets," said Maestro Kelly Stewart.
Fourteen instruments owned by both the program and students worth $8,000 were taken. The monetary value was the least of their worries.
"The more you play it, the more you understand it," said flute player Alyssa Reed. "It's like getting a friend."
"Well, my mom got it when she started playing the flute when she was a little kid, and passed it down to me," said Camryn.
"They took something that had a lifetime of memories," Catrina
In the past week, band members have checked pawn shops, swap meets, eBay, Craigslist. And still, no luck
If the thief would return the instruments, Stewart says, "No questions asked. I would love to get those instruments back."
In reality, they know it won't happen. It's a sad lesson of big city woes now resonating through a small community.
For details on how you can help the band, click here.