Otterbein's mascot has been hauled off by Westerville police.

Otterbein's mascot has been hauled off by Westerville police.

The crime: stealing a sousaphone. The background music: the "Hawaii Five-O" theme song.

The crime and the subsequent arrest are the plot in the Otterbein marching band's entry in CBS's "Hawaii Five-O Marching Band Mania" competition. Otterbein is competing against 17 other college marching bands for $25,000.

Most other entries feature taped performances of the "Hawaii Five-O" theme. Otterbein broke from that, creating a video with a plot and the theme playing in the background.

Otterbein's video begins with the Cardinal stealing a sousaphone on the football field. Through the remainder of the video, the band's two drum majors chase the Cardinal across campus. It ends with the Cardinal being driven away in a Westerville police cruiser.

Clips of the marching band performing the song are interspersed with the scenes of the police-style chase.

Otterbein marching band director Michael Yonchak said he received a phone call from CBS Sports in July, asking if the band were interested in participating in the contest.

"Usually, these are advertised through a mass-email request or based on the front page of a popular website, but frankly, I was a caught off guard when I was called personally," Yonchak said.

He said he and band leadership staff members agreed the contest would allow the band to expand its repertoire of music and potentially could develop into a project that could be used for recruiting and advertising nationally.

The students also gained experience in recording music for productions and in making a music video.

Yonchak said the university originally set out to create a standard video of the band performing the song, but the more creative approach was born from that process.

"This originally started as a simple video to record the Cardinal Band performing the 'Hawaii Five-0' theme song, but since has taken on a life all of its own," he said. "I met with the video crew before band camp started, and we sketched out a storyboard of what we thought the video should look like."

To win the contest, Otterbein is asking people to visit to vote for the video.

Yonchak said the band has relied on the university's marketing staff and student public relations organization to get the word out through the university's website, mass e-mails, posters and postcards.

The band also has been using its own Facebook page to promote this contest daily, as have other campus organizations, Yonchak said.

So far, he said, the video has logged more than 14,000 views since the contest began last week.

Yonchak said the band is nervous about the competition, which includes many larger universities such as Northwestern, Clemson and Texas State, but he said he is confident in the Otterbein's work.

"We are a little nervous, but I'm sure all the bands are feeling some excitement around this," Yonchak said. "We knew going in that the competition would be huge, so we put together our video doing what we do best and submitted it."