The theft of multiple instruments from the band room has led to the addition of locks within the room. According to James Lee, band member, a total of seven instruments have been stolen in the past year. The instruments taken include a violin, a euphonium, two trumpets, a trombone, and a flute. Each one was privately owned by a member of the band or orchestra. As of May 21, locks were installed on the doors of the cabinets used to store instruments in order to prevent future thefts. There are no suspects in the case so far, stated Officer Dowd, school resource officer.
“So far we have been reviewing footage from the cameras that are in the areas, both internal and external, trying to find anybody leaving who might be suspicious,” said Dowd. “I also have one of our detectives checking things like craigslist, eBay, and pawn shops to make sure they aren’t going that route to get rid of them…. [But] at the moment I don’t have any viable suspects…. It could be anyone who has access to that area.” Lee estimated that the net worth of the stolen instruments was between $12,000 and $13,000. He also acknowledged the difficulty of finding the culprit, stating, “You can’t exactly tell who it was because you can pick something up and walk away with it so casually and [it’s not obvious] whether or not you’re the owner of the instrument.” Shannon Manuel, band member, was a victim of the thefts. Her trombone, valued at close to $2,500, was taken the week of May 11. Though no new information has been found yet, she remains hopeful that they will at least catch the thief. “The thing is, there has to be something [on the footage], unless he [Officer Dowd] just doesn’t have the [camera] angle,” said Manuel. “I feel like it’s probably a high school student because with one girl, she saw [her instrument] in the morning and then when she went to pick it up after school, it was gone.” Officer Dowd gave his own insight on who the thief could possibly be, and to why someone would want to steal instruments specifically. “Maybe someone’s trying to support a [drug] habit,” he suggested. “We see it all through town; someone tries to break into a house and grab little things, so maybe they’re just willing to get whatever they can get for an instrument. But I’m not sure [as to] why instruments [specifically]. You’d think there would be plenty of other things in the school they could grab for less work.” This isn’t the only criminal activity that has been occurred in the band room this year, either. According to Lee, the windows have been broken on three separate occasions. Officer Dowd stated that this is the first year major issues from the band room have been reported to him. He also believes that there hadn’t been any large-scale issues in the years before he was hired. Though students are thankful to finally have locks on the cabinets, many are aggravated by how long it took to get them in the first place. “Since the beginning of the year, I’ve wanted to get locks on the cabinets,” said Manuel. “[We have] locks now, which is pretty good, but we’ll see what happens. In a way it seems too late.” Lee also expressed displeasure. “It’s about time we got locks,” he stated. “Have you seen the band room at Wood Hill? They have better lockers [and security] than us.” Manuel asked for anyone who knows or hears something about the thefts to please contact her or Officer Dowd. By Rachel McIntosh