Thieves swipe parade float used by Shriners steel drum band

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The work of thieves may ripple through more than a dozen parades around Minnesota this summer.

The 40-foot trailer used as a parade float by the Zuhrah Shrine Steel Drum Band was swiped from a parking lot in Crystal over the weekend, the community television station twelve.tv reports.

The steel drum band has performed regularly in parades around the region for years. Director Dave Thornton tells the station the thieves should know they've stolen more than a trailer. "They've taken away a lot of joy and excitement and enthusiasm from little kids along the parade route," he says.

Thornton tells WCCO the trailer – equipped with a sound system, a generator, lights, and a canopy – was valued at $46,000. Shriners who showed up for rehearsal on Saturday morning discovered it had been stolen.

Thornton says the band is booked in parades from Isanti to Litchfield to LeSueur.

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The Shriners are a service-oriented fraternal organization that supports a network of children's hospitals.

They are an offshoot of a larger and older group, the Masons.

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