LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Officials say a rash of recent burglaries has left them searching for tuba thieves.

South Gate High School music teacher Ruben Gonzalez Jr. told the Los Angeles Times that thieves broke into his band room and took only tubas. Losses included an upright concert tuba and a silver sousaphone — or marching-band tuba — worth a combined $13,000.

Several weeks earlier, thieves stole eight sousaphones from Compton’s Centennial High School.

Last week, someone stole Huntington Park High School’s only tuba. The other instrument was stolen earlier in the year.

The thefts, band leaders say, are probably attributable to Southern California’s banda music craze and to the high prices the brass instruments fetch on the black market.

A new tuba can cost upwards of $5,000, while a used instrument can cost $2,000.

Comments (53)
  1. chorm says:

    look on craigslist.

    1. Rick says:

      Aren’t you a pos.

  2. Marv says:

    The instrument portrayed here is NOT a tuba, but a sousaphone!

    1. Richard Henkle says:

      Very good Marv, the article does say that a sousaphone was also stolen.

  3. Nemo_from_Erehwon says:

    Dang, buying a tuba on Wednesday, now I have to worry if it is Hot…

  4. JCINHB says:


    1. DTA says:

      Wouldn’t that be “gang banders” now?

  5. Jack Kinch(1uncle) says:

    Police profile: Demorats.

  6. Jim says:

    Now…, when you see a recital with only Tubas. Report the suspicous activity!

    1. Roger Bobo says:

      Has to be T.U.B.A. (Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association).

      Vicious gang of thugs.

  7. imnicerthanur says:

    summary execution on arrest.

    1. Arnold Jacobs says:

      Appropriate punishment: Make the thieves play “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the tubas!

      Better punishment: Make the others listen.

      1. SerfCityHereWeCome says:

        Don’t forget to credit Woody Allen for that first line. 🙂

  8. jschorbean233 says:

    I think you meant b.e.a.n.d.a.

  9. just jack says:

    l a county can now spend some more of their funny money to buy new ones. pretty soon the check bounces and la raza and all the tuba players gotta go home

  10. No Chit Cherlock says:

    Simple experiment to determine the motive:

    The school should replace them all with lightweight white fiberglass Sousaphones. If they are stolen again, we can conclude the thieves are Mexican musicians who stole the Sousaphones to play Sinaloaense music.

    If the new fiberglass Sousaphones are not stolen, we can conclude that the thieves were in it for the metal.

  11. Einstein says:

    Some back-alley OB-Gyn must have been learning how to perform tuba ligations and ran out of tubas to practice on ….

  12. Steven Moshlak says:

    (B)anda music craze? I guess the thieves weren’t from Latin America or here illegally. They must have been a couple of redneck “good old boys,” looking for parts to a still, right? LAUSD, are these tuba’s engraved as property of LAUSD?

    File an insurance claim and buy new equipment.

    It takes a lot of brass to steal a Tuba or Sousaphone.

  13. Pomona Pete says:

    Will anyone enjoying banda music realize that the musician playing the tuba is either a thief or bought it hot? Will the listener care? Nope. Not one in one hundred million (pop. of Mexico) will be disturbed in the slightest. Eh?

  14. Beauxdog says:

    I was once in a tuba quartet… we called ourselves the Tuba-Fours.

  15. Luce Weiles says:

    It’s either the work of the Oompa Gang, or the Polka Mafia, last year they got my Leiderhosen, left my wallet and Rolex behind.

  16. dwoof says:

    What next? A tuba toothpaste?

  17. Viral Instrumentals says:

    I know the first place I’d look.

    On YOUTUBA, of course…

  18. John Phillip Sousa says:

    You can have the tubas.

    I’ll take me a big ol’ honkin’ sousaphone any day…

  19. jim johnson says:

    Would you like me to ship you a “jump to conclusions” mat? Or are you available for pickup? Racist idiot. You’re assuming a lot, and last time I checked- one of the great things about this country is due process.

    1. darkhorserunner says:

      Jim your an idiot.

      1. joe says:

        actually, it should be…. Jim, you’re an idiot. as in a contraction of you are… the apostrophe goes where the letters are removed. I don’t think you proved Jim an idiot.

        nice job, Ace.

  20. Howard T. Lewis III says:

    Check the church-lady’s garage.

  21. David says:

    Black market tubas? Now I’ve heard everything.

  22. meesha4 says:

    Steal it. Think you DESERVE it. CRY RACIST, etc. Bottom line. 47% of the CITIZENS of this country are on the TAXPAYER-FUNDED DOLE. 30% increase in FOOD STAMPS (paid by the PRIVATE sector) under B.O. Public “education” does not teach individualism or work ethics. They TEACH how to get something for nothing. Just look at B.O. voters. “bammy gonna pa fo mi mogage. bammy donna pa fo me outta hees stash”. Bunch of uneducated idiots taught by union morons that are more concerned about their PRIVATE-SECTOR taxpayer-funded salaries, benefits and pensions than they are about the YOUNGSTERS they are in charge of. Us private-sector taxpayers are PAYING for daycare centers in HIGH SCHOOLS. We are paying for MEALS that should be provided by PARENTS. If you can’t provide for your own CHILD, then DON’T have the child and DON’T saddle me with your responsibility!

    1. mark says:

      I think you’re on to something.

      Right On!

  23. PooperPipley says:


    1. Dr. Davies says:

      Please steal me a meat flute because my wife is always out playing her friends. If I had such an instrument then she could spend more time at home.

      Rupert A. Davies

  24. Hugh Rhodes says:

    I am betting on the metal thieves or common thieves. Most musicians are honorable people as it takes hard work, discipline and dedication to learn how to play a REAL musical instrument. We have idiots stealing the grounding cables from telephone poles in Ohio. One dude died trying to steal copper power lines that were ON.

  25. kicktheKenyanOut2012 says:

    Hope & Change Economic Depression under Barack Hussein Obama…

  26. John G. says:

    Hey, what are you locked up in here for?

  27. Monk the Maddman says:

    I bet their using them as bongs.


  28. FRED says:

    Send the mexicans back to their third-world country and the crimes will stop. California will then be a paradise like it was back when it was primarily white anglosaxon.

    1. Brutass says:

      You either are a moron or missed your California history class.

      Please sign up for the class and try again.

    2. The Big Logic says:

      You left out the Africans. They’ll still be here inventing new ways to steal and kill, so it will not be a paradise again until they are gone as well.

  29. mstrmac711 says:

    This is an important story for all of us. The back story can be found at http://www.theleansubmariner.com

    I always suspected that tubas and attracting women were linked. Now we have the facts

  30. John Ritenour says:

    I guess they submitted to to their “baser” (bass) urges – ooh that’s a bad pun!

  31. Miguel says:

    “on the blackmarlet”?… makes it sound like there’s some shady dude in an alley selling hot marching band equipment out of his rape van.

  32. Anthony Graham says:

    but they only come here for work….

  33. wg//af says:

    I am more interested in blowing skin flutes.

  34. TheWindrunner says:

    Stealing Tubas is pretty kinky stuff. It might be a new age kind of kink thing.

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