Albuquerque police locate stolen high school van

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque police confirmed they found a local high school’s stolen van near I-40 and 12th Street Saturday.

In a tweet, APD showed a picture of the van with band equipment still inside, but it looked like some items may have been knocked over or damaged.

The Las Cruces High School marching band was horrified at what they found Saturday morning in Albuquerque.

On the day of a major competition, just a few hours before they were supposed to perform, they said all their equipment and instruments were gone.

On Friday, the day before the Zia Marching Band Fiesta, a major competition at UNM, the Las Cruces High School marching band loaded up a yellow rental Penske truck with their band equipment.

Michael Woods, president of the Band Parent Association, drove the loaded truck to Albuquerque. But on Saturday morning, the day of competition, the truck was stolen.

"Unfortunately it was gone,” said Woods.

The truck was parked at Homewood Suites by the Sunport. About $200,000 worth of band equipment was stolen.

"It was disbelief and we were heartbroken. I mean, there’s no other way to put it. We were grieving because there was a lot of equipment that we had, that we needed and it’s irreplaceable,” said Ty Frederick, band director of Las Cruces High School.

Some of the stolen equipment was even new and while the majority of it was insured, a lot of it wasn’t. But there is a silver lining – many schools reached out to help by lending the band some equipment, ensuring the Bulldogs had a chance to compete.

The Eldorado High School band in Albuquerque was one of the bands who helped.

"Our band community regardless of what school we’re from, what city we’re from we all work together and try to help each other out,” said Stephen Snowden Jr. with Eldorado High School.

The school was able to provide the Las Cruces band with bells, mouth pieces and other instruments.

"We are going to do what we do and hopefully have a great performance this afternoon at three and if we can, we will make finals and hopefully perform again tonight and for the future we get through the next weekend and finish our marching season strong and then we will recover slowly,” said Frederick.