Normally, Earl Fox backs his trailer and EuroVan into his driveway, but for the last few days he’s been parking it right out on Yale Street — and that’s exactly where thieves took advantage.
Minus the trailer and the Japanese taiko drums inside, he’s now facing a $100,000 loss. But for Fox, that’s not the worst of it.
After falling in love with the impressive sound of taiko drums in Japan during his Navy missions, Fox has spent 15 years teaching others how to play.
Hundreds of Stockton school children who, thanks to Fox, have received lessons about how to lure sound from some very special skins.
“Most children are told throughout the day to sit down and be quiet. Here they were being told just the opposite … stand up and be loud. Yes you have permission to hit the drum with reckless abandon,” Fox said.
Access to that kind of freedom and passion came to an end around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.
“Looked down the driveway and saw the recycle bin was knocked over … said, oh they collected … got about halfway down the driveway and realized something was missing,” Fox said.
Fox’s white cargo trailer filled with stands, drums he had made and others priced at more than $3,500, disappeared after someone broke through a lock he bought because it was supposed to be impenetrable.
Tears come to his eyes and words catch in his throat as Fox thinks about having to ask for help to recoup what he feels has been stolen from his students.
“I feel powerless,” he said.
Right now Stockton police don’t have any leads about the missing shime, okedo and other taiko-style drums belonging to Fox.
If you spot the drums or the white trailer they were in, Stockton Police would like to hear from you.