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Banda black market suspected as CA tubas vanish
Who is stealing the tubas of Southern California? Some suspect a banda black market
By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) ' They've still got their trombones and their trumpets, their cornets and their clarinets.

But the high school marching bands of Southern California are going tuba-less these days, and their music directors think they know why.

There's a Banda Bandit on the loose, they say. Someone who is breaking into high schools from the East Side of Los Angeles to the shores of Manhattan Beach and stealing expensive tubas to supply a fast-growing banda black market.

Banda, the popular polka-influenced dance music that originated in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, was little known in the United States 20 years ago. Now, however, it is the country's fastest growing genre of Latino music.

Meanwhile, more than two dozen tubas have vanished from area schools recently while other instruments are left untouched.

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