The Las Cruces High School Showcase band’s trip to Albuquerque this weekend started on a sour note.
Hours before the Zia Marching Band Fiesta was set to begin, the band’s truck — filled with $200,000 worth of equipment — was stolen from a hotel parking lot where it was parked overnight.
The Albuquerque Police Department said the truck was reported missing around 7 a.m. Saturday from the Homewood Suites at 1520 Sunport SE.
The Penske truck contained percussion instruments and other large instruments and was driven to Albuquerque on Friday night by the band association president, band parent Fred Bugbee said. Among the stolen items were instruments for the drum line and percussion sections and color guard flags, APD spokesman Hence Williams said.
Bugbee called the theft “kind of devastating,” given the hard work band members put into their performances.
But Bugbee also said college and high school band programs rallied behind the high school and offered to donate equipment so the LCHS band could still perform in the festival.
Zia Marching Fiesta Director Chad Simons said the sourcing of replacement equipment was a “team effort all the way around,” and the LCHS is now preparing to perform in the finals.
“They got what they needed in order to participate and they had great shows,” he said.
Around 6:15 p.m., Williams reported that the truck was found near Eighth and Haines NW with instruments inside.
The Zia Marching Band Fiesta draws more than 20 high schools from across the state in a day-long marching band competition at the University of New Mexico’s University Stadium.
This isn’t the first time a band truck and equipment has been stolen this year.
At the beginning of this year, a trailer containing about $13,000 worth of equipment was taken from the La Cueva High School marching band in Albuquerque.