Trailer Thief Leaves Des Moines Dance Studio’s Biggest Performance in Jeopardy

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A group of dancers have been counting on the big stage.

"It's huge.  It is the biggest one we have to celebrate a big anniversary," said Tanya Ogden, owner of Dance FX in Des Moines.

The studio has put dancers through a 36-week class prepping them for Dance FX`s 20th anniversary recital at Indianola High School in June, but the spotlight may be going dim.

Ogden said, "Other parents came rushing saying somebody just took off with your trailer."  On Monday, police say Gary Lee Jones stole the trailer Dance FX uses to carry costumes, props and scaffolding.

"Miss Tanya has put a lot of time and effort into finding and making these props a lot of them are a big part in our dance. To have them not be there maybe, is a lot of pressure on the dancers," said 10-year-old Macy Dahlhauser.

Totaling the trailer during a high speed chase, it fell off and hit another vehicle before police found Jones who then fled from the vehicle leading officers on a foot chase near Lincoln High School.  "I'm not taking in lots of money that I can go get a new trailer or go rent one.  That money is not easy to come by," Ogden said.

Jones faces a number of charges including third-degree burglary, eluding and theft. But the biggest loss may be not having a vehicle to get their gear to Indianola.  Ogden said, "To redo routines right now with four weeks to go, we cannot do that.  We need to have our stuff."

After stealing the trailer, Jones worked quickly trying to use spray paint and duct tape to cover logos making it unidentifiable.  While he is in the justice system`s hands now, these young dancers already have a message for him.  Dahlhauser said, "When you try to do things like this, you should really think about how it affects the people you are stealing from because this affects us a lot and is a big part of our dance.

The recital is still scheduled for June 15 at the Indianola High School auditorium.

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