Students play Taiko drums during school assembly (Photo courtesy of Earle Fox)
STOCKTON, CA - Earle Fox can barely finish a sentence without being in tears, after nearly $100,000 of drum equipment was stolen from his Stockton home Wednesday.
"What they're taking away, is, they're denying children in public school classrooms the opportunity to play taiko," Fox said.
In 2000, the retired teacher began volunteering his time teaching the Japanese drum technique to kids in the Lodi, Lincoln and Stockton school districts. When he was finally paid by one of those districts last year, he used the money to buy more drums.
The drums and stands were in a locked trailer outside his Stockton home Tuesday morning when the trailer was hooked up to another vehicle and stolen.
Fox said it happened between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. He can be certain of that because the trailer was there when he took garbage out, but gone when he left for work.
Fox said because the drums and stands are made mostly of wood, they're not valuable to recyclers. He's hoping the thieves simply leave the trailer and drum equipment somewhere to be found. He said the Wells Cargo trailer is white, 18 feet long, with a pointed front.
Though he's insured, Fox isn't certain how much money he'll receive to replace the drums.
By Tim Daly, firstname.lastname@example.org