Local band's equipment stolen from rehearsal shed

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. -- Music is what brought the Palmer Junction band together but a burglary is what now brings them to a bandmate's garage for rehearsal.

When guitar player Aaron Saliba showed up at practice on Aug. 10, he saw a hole in the door of the Bonney Lake shed where the group rehearses.

"Just had a gut feeling you know. I just stopped and I knew what had happened," said Saliba.

Saliba went inside the shed and saw all of the group's equipment was gone - a piano, drum sets, amplifiers, cables, mixers -- everything except a few guitars and one amplifier that Saliba had at his home.

"To watch the looks on the faces of the guys as we realized more and more was missing it was terrible," said singer Jenny Lee, whose family owns the property.

The Bonney Lake shed is where Palmer Junction has written, recorded, and rehearsed for three years. The group even named their debut album "At the Shed."

"At the end of the day there was nothing left. We took a box of CD's and a box of shirts and just shut the door for the last time and walked out," said Saliba. "It was kind of sad to leave such a good place in such a bad time."

In all, the group estimates at least $8,000 worth of equipment was taken. Saliba said some of the gear was sold to a music shop in Bonney Lake. Saliba went there and got the name of the seller who provided an address located near the shed.

The band then recovered some items in a garage and crawl space after Bonney Lake Police served a search warrant, but there's still a lot of equipment missing. Saliba said no one has been arrested yet but at least one person has been questioned by detectives in connection with the case.

The rehearsal at Saliba's garage on Sunday night was the band's first time performing together since the break-in. Despite what happened, Lee said it's restored her faith in humanity after all the community support.

"There's always some terrible people in this world," said Lee. "We've come into contact with a few of them but if the ratio is a few terrible people to hundreds of people wanting to help then I think we're going to be all right."

Fans have organized a benefit to help the band replace some of the stolen items - it's scheduled for Sept. 9 at Darrell's Tavern in Shoreline.