If you haven't heard of them, no - police aren't searching for a missing group of seabirds, rather the van and equipment of UK 80s new wave band A Flock Of Seagulls that was robbed from the carpark outside a hotel in Downey, Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, the shocking theft happened as the band stopped over in Downey's Comfort Inn on Saturday (20th July) night and the van with its contents were taken at 2am. Returning to the car park on Sunday morning, the band discovered the theft in what must have been a rather heart-sinking moment.

A Flock Of Seagulls - 'I Ran (So Far Away)':

Surveillance video broadcast on KTLA-TV via the LA Times, shows a dark SUV pulling up behind the van with an unknown man exiting the driver's side, breaking into the van and driving off with it; the SUV following closely behind as the thieves made their getaway. Police have estimated that $70,000 (£45.5K) worth of gear was inside the van and much of it, according to the band, is irreplaceable. Lead singer Mike Score told TV reporters that hard drives containing material from his solo project were inside the stolen vehicle, along with some rather special instruments.

"Joe's guitar was hand-built. I use a couple of Fenders that are customized," Score forlornly explained.

Footage Of A Flock Of Seagull's Van Theft:

Having formed in 1979 in Liverpool, UK, A Flock Of Seagulls became noted in the eighties for songs 'I Ran (So Far Away)' and 'Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You).' The band were on tour in the USA when robbery struck and they were forced to play their succeeding Woodland Hills show with rented equipment. Score lamented that "When they steal stuff like that, they steal from people that pay to see the shows because the band is unable to play the songs as people want to hear them."

Police are appealing to the public for witness information. If you know or saw anything, please call Downey police at (562) 861-0771.