Altus High School choir room burglarized over Thanksgiving break - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Altus High School choir room burglarized over Thanksgiving break

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - More than $3,000 was taken from the Altus High School Choir during a Thanksgiving Break burglary.

An Altus Public Schools Campus Police officer says the burglary happened sometime between last Wednesday afternoon when all teachers were gone for the holidays, and last Friday afternoon when one teacher returned to the building and discovered the break-in.

The burglars tried to break through the back door of the music education building but were ultimately unsuccessful. They then went to the front of the building, where they broke through the glass door, reached through and let themselves in before heading into the choir room, prying open a door and stealing a safe with more than $3,000 in it. That safe was found in a drainage ditch a few hundred yards away from the building it was taken from.

"It's very frustrating. The musical is a self-funded operation so all the money that goes into the musical from ticket sales goes into putting on the next one. We try to make enough every year so we can make the next year's so as good as possible,” Altus High School Director of Choir Nicholas Young said.

Young said the money stolen came from ticket sales to the second night of the students' musical, which was a near sold-out show just before the Thanksgiving break. He said they will be able to put on their musical next year but, because of the thefts, they will not be able to make some improvements they were hoping to make to their auditorium, which was built in 1963.

"This because we made so much off Beauty and the Beast the previous year, we were able to change the lighting system, update it into a LED system. We were hoping to update the system a little bit more or adding in sound but it doesn't look like we'll be able to update it at all next year, we'll just have to focus the money on the show,” Young said.

Young said the choir at Altus High School has always had the support of the community but that he feels in the last few years the musical has really started receiving more support, which is necessary in today's age of constant budget cuts.

"It's always an uphill battle to get funding for things like music and the arts. The students work very hard for it. People came to see the show and were very supportive of it, but to have the financial side of it disappear is just heartbreaking. So for their sake I hope something gets done,” Young said.

Altus High School Campus Police Officer Kevin Newton is heading the investigation and says it is important that anyone with information call Jackson County Crimestoppers at (580) 482 - TIPS.

"First off, we might be able to recover some of what was taken if we are able to catch them, especially some of the checks. Also, there is the opportunity, these people need to pay for what they've done. They need to face justice,” Newton said.

Young said the choir students were obviously frustrated when they heard the news and that he hopes for their sake those responsible are caught.

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