weather icon Cloudy

Summerlin school has $25K in marching band gear stolen from trailer

Updated May 22, 2024 - 8:10 am

Faith Lutheran Middle School &High School had $25,000 in marching band equipment stolen from its marching band and color guard trailer last week, leaving its music department to figure out how it will get essential equipment for concerts and competitions next school year.

Dan Zeigner, the director of bands and orchestras at the school, said that when the trailer disappeared early on May 15, he first thought nothing of it because the trailer is often borrowed by other school groups.

But when school officials reviewed security footage that evening, it became clear that someone had stolen it from the school’s back lot.

“He was there for about 15 minutes, and then pulled out of here just before 5:50 in the morning, according to the security footage,” Zeigner said.

It wasn’t until Saturday evening that Metropolitan Police Department officers were able to find the trailer stuck near the Flamingo Wash under Boulder Highway near Dahlhart Street, more than 17 miles away from the school, Zeigner said.

‘Our lifelines to get out to the community’

The Metropolitan Police Department found Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School's stolen ma ...
The Metropolitan Police Department found Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School's stolen marching band and color guard trailer in the Las Vegas Wash under Boulder Highway near Dahlhart Street on Saturday, May 20, 2024. (Courtesy of Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School)

By then, the roughly $20,000 trailer was completely gutted.

The thief even stole the trailer’s tires and destroyed its wrapping, which cost the school about $10,000, he said.

“These objects are our lifelines to get out to the community and be able to get our kids to go out and not just compete, but also we go perform for plenty of other events,” Zeigner said. “When we don’t have them, it just makes those opportunities wash away.”

Zeigner said police were “fantastic” with helping the school recover the trailer, from the first few phone calls on how to best file a police report to officers finding it just a few days after it went missing.

“They were just very gracious,” he said. “They understood my position, and they were very patient.”

No suspects have been identified in the theft, according to a police report.

Since the missing trailer was posted on social media, parents and students, along with band directors from across the county, have reached out to the school to offer their support, he said.

‘Not all that uncommon’

Faith Lutheran isn’t the first school to have its trailer targeted by thieves in recent years. Shadow Ridge High School’s band trailer was stolen last May, and Arbor View High School’s band trailer was taken in 2022.

“Unfortunately, this is not all that uncommon,” Zeigner said. “I think a lot of people think that we keep a lot of very valuable stuff. What we all keep in those trailers is valuable, but not to the extent that someone might think.”

Students told him they are sad the trailer was ransacked, especially because it was used for years to travel to performances and competitions from California all the way to New York’s Carnegie Hall, Zeigner said.

“It’s more about the emotion attached to the object rather than the object itself,” he said.

While the trailer’s insurance will cover the cost of all the items lost, Zeigner said the music department will struggle to find equipment in time for competitions, with companies quoting the school an eight-month lead time to replace much of the stolen gear.

Hoping for help

Zeigner said he hopes other schools will be able to lend the school their extra equipment to get the music department’s roughly 300 students through next year’s performances.

“If we go eight months from now to next January, marching season is over, so we’ll need to figure out how we’re going to operate in the future,” he said.

Ultimately, Zeigner said he’s grateful no students nor staff members were harmed during the theft.

“It can be replaced,” he said of the stolen trailer and its contents. “I know the memories are there, and it’s not easy to replace some of those things that give you the memory, but it’s not the memory itself.”

Contact Taylor Lane at tlane@reviewjournal.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Trump assassination probe: What’s known, unknown

Investigators are still trying to piece together how Thomas Matthew Crooks eluded Secret Service agents and local police.