EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A box truck with more than $200,000 worth of band equipment belonging to the Las Cruces High School Showcase Band was stolen in Albuquerque ahead of the band’s competition Saturday.

The Albuquerque Police Department tweeted that the stolen vehicle had been recovered. However, this wasn’t until after the students had to compete.

Despite the challenges, the band was able to compete with borrowed equipment and placed fourth in the competition, and are headed to the finals.

Lorraine Leachman the LCHS Showcase Band Fundraising Chair says their hearts dropped when they first heard the news of the truck being stolen.

“As soon as we heard the news, everything froze and our hearts dropped,” said Leachman. “These kids have worked tirelessly, dedicating themselves to their passion for music and each other; to imagine all that effort, stolen from the kids, was utterly heartbreaking.”

Band members and parents heard of the news as they were boarding a bus in Las Cruces, headed for Albuquerque for the competition.

One parent, Heather Doolittle, says her daughter is the color guard captain and that the color guard’s flags were inside the truck that was stolen.

“She was really disappointed that those flags that they had practiced with were not going to be available. They did find others and they used some substitutions during the show but it wasn’t the ones they practiced with,” said Doolittle.

Those substitutions came from the New Mexico State University Marching Band, making sure the students had everything they needed to perform. In addition, the University of New Mexico Marching band and other high schools offered help to the Las Cruces High School Students.

“The performance must go on…the outpouring of support has been incredibly touching. I’m so proud of how the students have encouraged each other, despite the challenge this morning presented and put on a magnificent show!”

Ty Frederick, LCHS Band Director

Leachman tells KTSM 9 News that not all of the band’s equipment was recovered sharing a link where people can donate to help replace the stolen equipment.

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