NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s been a tough year for musicians across the city, and the last thing they need is for someone to steal their instruments. This was the case for a member of a New Orleans brass band. Now he’s hoping to get his instrument back after he was carjacked at a Shell gas station early Monday morning.
The lead trombonist for the Big 6 Brass Band, Lamar Heard Sr., was filling his car with gas when it happened. Inside his car were his trombone and his bandmate Clifton Smith’s tuba, along with some percussion equipment. The band members fear their beloved instruments will never be seen again, but they’re hanging on to hope.
“I played on a horn Monday night that I had borrowed and had a hard time,” said Heard.
“It was terrible,” said Smith, who also plays tuba for the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band. “I was like, man I just want this gig to be over. I want my horn.”
According to the New Orleans Police Department Third District, detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating those responsible for the vehicle theft on March 8, 2021, in the 3400 block of Franklin Avenue.
The NOPD says at about 4:15 a.m., the pictured male subject exited the passenger side of the pictured maroon Dodge Charger, and proceeded to steal the pictured silver Honda Accord with license plate number 894 DYQ. Both vehicles then took off.
“Guy comes out with a ski mask on, armed, asked me to move out the way of my car and just got in and pulled off,” said Heard.
While the two musicians realize the car and the instruments are replaceable, it doesn’t take away the fact they were important items with sentimental value.
“I would rather have my life than the materialistic things,” said Heard.
“Honestly, just for him to still be breathing and talking, everything else can be replaced. That’s really it,” said Smith.
Heard said it’s been a tough year for musicians like him and the Big 6 Brass, and now that the City of New Orleans is loosening up on its COVID-19 restrictions, the band is looking forward to securing more gigs.
“I mean, bad enough we don’t really get too many gigs right now, so to sit here and say that was one of my only gigs for the week, I don’t have a horn now and I’m sitting here trying to find a way to make some money to make it through the week,” he said.
Clifton chiming in, “You made me miss my horn so much more just talking about it!”
For now, the two are thankful things didn’t turn out worse.
“Music has been helping us get through,” said Heard. “And that just got taken away from me you know?”
But they are holding on to hope that things work out in their favor.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or the pictured subject or vehicles is asked to contact NOPD Third District detectives at 504-658-6030 or to call anonymously to Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans at 504-822-1111.
The band set up a gofundme page to help them raise money to purchase new instruments. Click here to help them out.
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