ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  A band traveling from Denver through Albuquerque is now stranded after their van was broken into twice in 48 hours.

‘The Stews’ is a rock band from Auburn, Alabama traveling in the southwest on their summer tour. Wyatt Griffith plays the drums. “We were kind of like a baby project during the pandemic and sprung out of that,” he said. 

Things were going well but the tour took a turn when the band was burglarized in Colorado. “We’d already been in Denver for a show and came back and dropped some friends off at the airport. And that’s what we got broken into that first night,” said Griffith. 


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Four guitars were stolen but the band had to keep moving to make it to their shows in Dallas. The group made an overnight stop in Albuquerque at the Holiday Inn Express on Alameda. 

Guitarist Blake Dobbs shares, “We wanted to come to New Mexico, see some of the sites and see how beautiful it is because it truly is.” But bad luck struck a second time — when their van was broken into again. Dobbs shared, “I woke up fairly early the next morning, came down, and our window was smashed in, our ignition was torn and everything was gone at that point.”

Another guitar was taken – a chord acoustic guitar covered in stickers. Dobbs continues, “There’s a priceless sentimental value to the stuff stolen. So many songs written, gigs played, just everyday stuff, you know?”

Right now the band is at a standstill. The thieves destroyed the van’s ignition and steering wheel while trying to steal the van and trailer altogether. “Right now we’re stuck in Albuquerque kind of waiting on the dealership to tell us if we need to order any special parts. And if we do, how long that’s gonna take,” explained Bennett Baugus, the drummer of the band. 

But Preston Hall, the lead singer of the band says they’re not going to let this slow them down. “At the end of the day, it is just, you know, guitars and stuff and it’s not going to hold us back from you know, keep going so we got to get to Dallas.”

APD is investigating the theft. Band members say altogether they lost more than $10,000 in equipment. ‘The Stews’ have a GoFundMe set up  as they try to finish off their summer tour.