Group brassed off after instruments stolen leaving £3,500 bill
A youth marching band group has been left devastated after some of its most prized instruments were stolen.
Brazen thieves stole the equipment – which would cost around £3,500 to replace – from the the Stafford Brigades Youth Marching Band.
A baritone, trumpet and cornet was stolen from the car of volunteer leader Pete Johnson, outside his home in Mynors Street, Littleworth in Stafford.
The group, of 75 young members, meet at Sandon Road Baptist Church and need the instruments to keep going.
It happened overnight between Sunday and Monday of this week – after the group performed at various events including Brereton Carnival on Saturday.
He said: "I went to my car on Monday morning and found the instrument had been taken from the boot of my car.
"The second value to somebody else is nothing but to try and replace them you're looking at about £3,5000.
"For a small organisation like us, we try to do things on the cheap so kids have an opportunity. This is a huge blow for us."
The group meets at the church on Mondays, offering a fun atmosphere for young people to play music for £2 a week.
The stolen baritone was stored in a large black hard 'Dynasty' case, the Blessing USA brass trumpet was in a hard case, similarly with the small brass cornet.
Mr Johnson hoped the thieves returned the instruments.
"We try and make it as cheap as possible so every child can get the chance to play musical instruments and perform.
"We're hoping the thieves would fine it in their hearts to return them. It makes me sad that they're depriving children of the opportunity to give them something valuable and to keep them off the streets. They probably didn't get the chance themselves."
We're a small organisation that relies on funding and have been for over 30 years. We've contacted all the pawn shops and asked them to keep an eye out."
Staffordshire Police confirmed it had received a call at 8.30am on Monday morning reporting the theft of the instruments from a Fiat 500 in Mynor Street.
Anyone with any information is urged to call the police on 101.