Stolen School Band Instruments Recovered, Disney Trip Saved

The thefts jeopardized the class' special performance at Disneyland

By Brandon Lowrey
|  Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013  |  Updated 3:06 PM PDT
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Middle School Band's Disneyland Trip Threatened by Theft

Laura Pradhan, band and music director for Walter Dexter Middle School, said five of six instruments stolen from the school band program have been recovered and students will be able to travel to Disneyland.

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Middle School Band's Disneyland Trip Threatened by Theft

Two weekends in a row thieves broke into Dexter Middle School in Whittier and stole band instruments. Preparing for a performance at Disneyland, the School band is missing key instruments. Kim Baldonado reports from Whittier for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 16, 2013.
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Five of six instruments stolen from a Whittier middle school were found in a pawn shop about a mile from the school, the school's band and chorus director told NBC4 this week.

Thieves took the instruments over two consecutive weekends, school officials said earlier this month. The thefts jeopardized students' long-awaited trip to perform at Disneyland.

The news caused an outpouring of support from the community and thousands of dollars in cash and instrument donations.

"Thanks to the people that made monetary and instrument donations, our students have the instruments and money they need for their Disneyland trip!" Laura Pradhan, band and music director for Walter Dexter Middle School, wrote in an email.

Pradhan wrote that she stopped by a local pawn shop to let them know to watch out for her instruments, and received a tip from the owner that led her to another pawn shop closer to the school. There, she recognized one of the instruments and matched up the serial number.

She called detectives and was able to recover a sousaphone, trumpet, alto saxophone, French horn and a student's flute, she wrote.

A Yamaha tuba was still missing, she wrote.

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