Musical cadets burgled weeks before big show

SOUR NOTE Members of the TS Alacrity Junior Cadet Corps at the garage from which their musical instruments were stolen - left, front to back: Chantelle Dixon, 17; Lauren McGeady, 18 and Hayden Sharrock 16. Right, front to back: Leanna Denholm, 12; Andrew Denholm, 13, and chief petty officer Andy Denholm     Picture: Sarah Standing (110549-3096)
SOUR NOTE Members of the TS Alacrity Junior Cadet Corps at the garage from which their musical instruments were stolen - left, front to back: Chantelle Dixon, 17; Lauren McGeady, 18 and Hayden Sharrock 16. Right, front to back: Leanna Denholm, 12; Andrew Denholm, 13, and chief petty officer Andy Denholm Picture: Sarah Standing (110549-3096)
From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

Children in Need: Pub raises money with 12-hour ping pong game

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A GROUP of young cadets has been left heartbroken after having thousands of pounds’ worth of musical instruments stolen.

Members of the Training ship Alacrity Junior Cadet Corps – aged between seven and 18 – raised more than £2,000 for the equipment which was taken from a garage in Mill Road, Waterlooville, where it was stored.

The group’s commanding officer, Angela McGeady, went to check the garage around 10am on Thursday after noticing the door of the unit next to theirs was hanging off its hinges.

She said: ‘I tried to put the key into our door but it wouldn’t go in, the lock was broken and when I opened the door I saw all the instruments were gone.

‘There was a huge gap where they had been but nothing else was touched.

‘All the camping gear, sports equipment and gazebos which are kept in there too were still in their place.

‘The kids were very angry when I told them about it because they have done so much fundraising for them and really looked after them. They just couldn’t believe someone had taken them away from them.’

The burglars made off with a flatbed instrument – worth more than £1,000 alone – bass drum, four sets of brand new cymbals in cases, four snare drums, which were also in cases and a bag of glockenspiel and drum sticks.

The group had recently invested in having the instruments tuned ahead of their busy performance schedule consisting of eight events between now and the end of summer.

The organisation’s highest ranking officer, Lieutenant Pat Smith, said: ‘We have so many events coming up, including a presentation evening on March 14 for the kids to get their badges which is a big event for them, and if we can’t get any instruments then we won’t be able to do any of them.

‘This has just left us all deflated and it’s not fair on the kids who have worked tirelessly to raise money for everything we have. They are lovely kids and they are just so upset.’

Spokesman for Hampshire police, Tim Feltham, said: ‘We are appealing for witnesses and anyone who might know who is responsible to get in contact with us.’

Anyone with information should contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.