Theft of Taiko drums won’t deter JCKC from performing

Lisa Nguyen, Staff Writer

A trailer full of valuable taiko drums and equipment was stolen from Bear Creek’s taiko instructor Earle Fox.  The theft left the taiko group, who are a part of the Japanese Chinese Korean Club (JCKC), in shock.

The stolen trailer had 18 drums inside as well as drum stands and granite blocks.  The trailer was stolen from Fox’s house on the morning of October 30.  Fox said he was heartbroken when he found out about the theft.

“I felt extremely sad and disappointed,” Fox said.

Fox is a retired elementary school teacher, but he still continues to offer free after school taiko lessons to all students, including those from kindergarten to high school.

“Yes, they stole my stuff, but more importantly, they deprived a lot of students of something that is not normally taught in school,” Fox said.

The drum theft not only devastated Fox, but also crushed the hearts of the taiko drummers.

“I honestly couldn’t believe that someone would steal something from such a caring person,” senior taiko leader Justine Do-Huynh said.  “I was very mad because it negatively affects so many people.”

Other taiko members were also devastated.

“I found out about the horrible news from Twitter and the news,” senior Romuel Trocino said.  Trocino joined taiko as a new member this year and was shocked at the theft.

Many others learned about the robbery from the media.  Local news stations—such as News 10, KCRA 3, and Fox 40—covered the story to help raise awareness of the theft.  Fortunately, because of the news coverage, one helpful viewer was able to reveal the location of some of the drums.

On Friday, November 1, the Stockton Police Department discovered nine drums in an abandoned house. Out of these nine drums, two of them were badly damaged.

Although some of the drums were recovered and returned to Fox, the thieves kept the trailer, the rest of the nine drums and the other drumming equipment, all of which must be replaced.  The taiko group is currently planning to rebuild new drums and equipment.

However, rebuilding is not an easy task.  It will take a lot of money, time, dedication and teamwork.  The cost to rebuild a drum and its stands is approximately $500 each.

“As long as the passion is there to play, there will be a way to make it happen,” science instructor and taiko advisor Steve Augusto said.

The taiko group remains optimistic that they can overcome their losses.

“It’s a roadblock and an obstacle, but it won’t prevent us from performing,” Fox said.  Fox predicts that by the new year, there will be enough drums for all 24 Bear Creek taiko drummers to play during International Rally.

“People can knock us down, but we’ll just get right back up,” Fox said.

The taiko group plans to host fundraisers to raise money to cover the costs of constructing new drums.  Fox plans to set up a website for online donations. Everyone is welcome to help build new drums.  If anyone is interested in donating or rebuilding drums, please contact Augusto in Q07.