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Thieves steal $25,000 in school band instruments
Sycamore Juinior High students pose
with band instruments before they
were stolen this last weekend.
ANAHEIM – Sycamore Junior High leaders are seeking the public's help to replace $25,000 in school band instruments stolen some time over the weekend.
The more than 20 stolen items include tubas, baritones, trumpets, saxophones and drums. The theft has left the campus without any instruments for music classes and for the afterschool the band program, Principal Joe Carmona said.
"Our students are really, really upset. They don't understand how someone could do something like this to a school," he said.
The theft was discovered Monday morning, when staff arrived at the campus and discovered the doors to the music room had been pried open after everyone left on Friday. Inside, storage units were forced open, with the music instruments missing.
"They obviously knew exactly what they were looking for," Carmona said. "They walked past computers and LCD projectors and headed straight for the instruments."
Across the region, theft of music instruments has become a growing trend. Earlier this month, Southgate High School had several tubas worth $13,000 stolen. Huntington Park High School also reported tubas stolen this month.
Tubas alone can cost between $5,000 for those in excellent condition to $2,000 for ones with dents and signs of wear, music teachers said.
At Sycamore, school officials don't know how they will replace the instruments. The school's theft insurance policy may cover only a third of the costs, Carmona said.
Parents at the campus, with a 91 percent poverty rate, rely heavily on the school to provide all music equipment to students, he said.
The band program holds regular fundraisers, but they generally generate enough money to pay for contest entry fees and other miscellaneous costs, said Rich Gordon, the school's music director.
"I don't know how we will rebuild our collection. This is really devastating," Gordon said.
The school is asking for donations to help replace the stolen equipment. For information, call 714-999-3616.
Reproduced from the OC Register