HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff's Office discovered a van Tuesday after thieves stole the vehicle from an indie rock band while they performed at a Houston venue.
The Black Lillies, a Knoxville, Tennessee, band that's played at the Grand Ole Opry, just wrapped up their Texas tour in Houston.
Following their final performance in Conroe, they locked and left their van in the parking lot of the Quality Inn & Suites parking lot by George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Monday morning, band members awoke to find their van and trailer had vanished.
The Black Lillies should be looking forward to the next gig, but instead, they're wondering how they'll play without any instruments.
"It's about to get really complicated," said Cruz Contreras, the band's leader and guitarist.
What's not so complicated is how easy thieves were able to make a van and trailer disappear.
Just after 2 a.m., surveillance cameras captured a dark SUV pull up beside the van. No one is seen getting out, but the operation happened in a flash.
"They get in. They turn the lights on, takes them a minute to get it started. They get it started, and they back out," Contreras said after viewing the footage.
From beginning to end, the whole thing lasted two minutes. Since then, it's turned into hours of heartache for the band.
"I think we added everything up at about $75,000," Contreras said, referring to the value of the lost equipment.
"This is our life and livelihood in that vehicle, so if we could get any of it back, it would mean a lot to us," said Trisha Jean Brady, a guitarist and singer with the band.
Vintage guitars, drums, merchandise and CDs were taken.
"We have a mandolin that I've played my whole life. I've always agreed that one day that would be my son's mandolin you know," Contreras said.
If anyone sees a white Ford E350 with Tennessee plates and a 2016 Lark trailer, call the Houston Police Department.