A sad story came out earlier this week when the owners of Jimi’s Music Store in Walkinstown, Dublin 12 published a list on their website of guitars and some other gear that was stolen from their premises on the night of 10th May. A full list including serial numbers can be found at the website here – jimismusicstore.ie and they ask people to keep a look out for any gear on the list that comes up for sale.
Unfortunately it’s not uncommon these days to see announcements like this from stores, venues and from touring bands. High end music equipment is usually resellable on ebay and other trade websites aswell and with a band’s tour schedule of course readily available, it seems like groups both big and small are being increasingly targeted.
Guitarist Guthrie Govan had some of his gear stolen in Dec ‘11 in Rome while on tour around Europe. In August 2011, Irish band The cast of Cheers has some of their gear stolen from the London house they had been staying in for only a couple of weeks just before heading to the studio to record an album. On 17th April 2012 five guitars were recovered by US police which had earlier been reported stolen from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. In this case a private security guard was arrested. It is reported he had taken the instruments from a sound stage in Culver City where the band were performing.
Even a relatively unknown group on a small tour could be carrying upwards of €20,000 worth of equipment. In each of these cases the groups have taken to social media like blogs, facebook and twitter to circulate awareness of the thefts through their fans and in some cases this has lead to a recovery of some or all of the stolen items. MemoryHouse, a Canadian band who had all of their gear stolen from a van while in North America asked for donations of money or replacement gear from fans and they did make enough money and with the help of borrowed instruments from other bands they managed to finish their tour.
There are sites across the web like ScreamingStone which aim to create a database of stolen gear so it is worth searching first if you suspect you’re being offered a deal thats too good to be true. In some cases though there seems to be an ignorance of the issue from some touring groups. When you are carrying around upwards of €20,000.00 worth of equipment, which you are essentially relying on for your livelihood, it is surprising that they don’t have a member of the band guarding at all times.
Hopefully the guys at Jimi’s will be able to recover some of the stolen gear in the coming weeks.