‘It felt like a violation of our space’: Thief steals $15K worth of band instruments from Liberty High School

SPANGLE, Wash. — Mondays can be a drag for students coming back to school after the weekend. Some students at Liberty High School were ready to get to band class with Mr. Pendon at the end of the day to hone their musical skills.

“I went into my locker and it wasn’t in there,” said student Madison Greer.

She was looking for her saxophone in cubbies that had locks on them in the band room.

“I originally thought it had been taken out for service or something. When I asked, that was not what happened. It was just gone,” Madison said.

Six other instruments were missing, too.

“We started walking around the room, because every so often something gets picked up or misplaced,” said Morgan Pendon, the music director for the school.

That didn’t happen this time, though. Another student said their instrument was missing, and then another.

“It was really uncomfortable. It felt like a violation of our space. We consider this kind of our home at our school,” Pendon said.

Principal Aaron Fletcher said the case is still under investigation, but school officials believe the thief went through a window in Pendon’s office and walked into the band room, grabbed some instruments and then walked out a door in the room. There were pry marks on the window and door, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Fletcher said the building was secured through the weekend.

Seven instruments valuing more than $15,000 were taken, instruments included guitars and saxophones.

“Just don’t know why somebody would do that. It’s kind of really rude of them to do that. It’s just interesting they would come in, we didn’t think they’d be coming in the way they did. It’s just kind of scary to think anyone would just do that,” Madison said.

Posters and photos of band students were hung on the walls.

“It was sad,” Madison said, knowing someone stole all their instruments.

Some instruments were owned by the school district, others were given as a gift to students or they rented them.

“Even though the student doesn’t own it, the student finds a lot of, has a lot of love and finds a lot of their identity and things like that through their instrument at school,” Pendon said. “Even for the students that didn’t own theirs, they still felt that loss really heavy.”

For a community so small, they wonder who would’ve done this to them.

“People pay attention and are really proud of our school district and our community and our band. Our band does a wonderful job and so, it’s just – kind of surprised and disappointed that this took place,” Fletcher said.

The community has come together after the theft. In the meantime, students will be using loaner instruments. They hope to be able to get those instruments back.

“We really care about our students. We really care about our band program and just want the public to know we are a great community and we are a great school,” Fletcher said. “We’ll rally around this and hopefully something positive comes out of this at the end.”

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft. If anyone has any information, they are asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.