New Mexico band community helps high school whose equipment was stolen


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico marching band in Albuquerque for a local competition this weekend had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments stolen overnight. Other schools sprung into action to help the group perform Saturday before police tracked down all the stolen gear.

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The Las Cruces marching band’s rental truck, full of their instruments, was taken from the Homewood Suites parking lot near the airport overnight Friday, just hours before they’d be competing in the Zia Marching Band Fiesta at University Stadium.  

Luckily other schools, including some of their competition, came together to find a solution. Michael Woods is the President of Las Cruces HS Band Parent Association. He explains, “We were really indebted to the other bands, especially Organ Mountain High School, La Cueva, New Mexico State University, and UNM for all of their support and lending us equipment so that the band could go ahead and compete.”

The Las Cruces band says they estimate $200,000 worth of equipment was taken including bells, drums, speakers, a piano, and a lot more. Thanks to the quick response from the community, the Las Cruces students had what they needed to compete in one of the most prestigious marching band competitions in the southwest.

Steven Smyth, the Associate Dir. of Bands at NMSU says, “In the end it’s just about getting students and allowing them to perform and show off all of their hard work, so I think it’s awesome. I’m totally impressed with everybody in this situation.”

To end the day on another good note, APD located the stolen Penske truck about six miles away off 8th Street and Haines Avenue Saturday evening near the Wells Park area. “It looks like most of our stuff is here. A few things appear to have walked off but all in all, I think this is a pretty good way to end the day,” Woods says. 

The Las Cruces high school marching band ended up placing fourth in the competition using the other bands’ instruments and played in the finals Saturday night.  APD is still investigating and there are no known suspects at this time.   

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