Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ripped off

After more and more people began inquiring about the van break-in/robbery over the weekend in NYC, I figured I'd post this summary I sent to our friend Ryan (of Ryan's Smashing Life). He has been a kind supporter, offering to help however possible. We appreciate all the support we've gotten so far. Just to fill you in, here's what went down...

We played at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn and afterward drove to a friend's apartment about 3/4 mile away. We parked, admittedly in a sketchy area, and walked two blocks to his house. Upon arriving, I decided to go back to the van to check if it was violating any parking orders (last time we were in NYC we had some bad luck in this department). It wasn't in violation, but I took note of the building across the street as it had all its windows missing (foreshadowing!) and considered moving the van closer to the party. In retrospect, I obviously wish I had...or left NYC altogether. But hindsight is 20/20. Anyhow, I returned to the party, which we stayed at for a very brief period (15-20 mins) before returning to find our back passenger side window smashed, and missing Scott's bass and Matt's kick pedals. Now, obviously this sucks for a variety of reasons, but we are fortunate that we 1) weren't cleaned out entirely, 2) weren't present at the time of the crime (who knows what would have happened? if they have the capacity to steal, they perhaps could harm in other ways) and 3) didn't have the van stolen. So, it's a good time to count our blessings. That isn't to say we're at all thrilled with what was lost: Scott just recently purchased that bass, at quite an expensive pricetag, to replace YET ANOTHER stolen bass. So, he is not feeling too great now. Furthermore, my van's insurance doesn't cover the instruments (only items "attached" to the car) nor does it cover the window, since they slyly priced it slightly under my deductible. Of the ladder, I am actually quite surprised and pleased, however, as I expected the window to be a $1,000+ job as most of the van's expenditures have been as of late. Still, I'm paying for something I don't want to, and money's tight, so it's just a bad situation. Either way, the only conclusion I can draw is that we did something to piss off the city of New York, as our last few trips have been an insane spiral of theft, parking tickets, towings, and what have you. All this after over four years of peaceful trips to NYC. What gives?

Anyhow, we're still sorting it all out. Initially, I considered having some sort of fundraising effort to help pay off these accruing debts. Now I'm not certain if I want to do that. I think this is just an occupational hazard of being a musician, and frankly, we're fortunate to not have endured a break-in until Saturday. And as I said, it could have been far worse. Truth is, I can't think of what we could have done differently besides avoid the situation altogether, but how often is that going to happen? It's a coin flip, really. Do I go to the party and risk getting robbed? Who would have known that was a distinct possibility? It's NYC -- of course you can get robbed at any time! So, the only thing I may do different is bring a big ole blanket around with us to throw over the stuff in the back, as to not have any shiny objects catch the eye of passersby. Even that seems like it could attract more attention (also, I don't like this idea of always removing the instruments, because it's A LOT of stuff -- who shows up to a party for 15 mins with all their gear?). Finally, I think I will invest in ASCAP's musical instrument insurance. Clearly, that would have been a good idea to have. Again, thoughts after the fact.

Hopefully we get the equipment and window replaced promptly (I can't keep driving around with a cardboard window), and just put this whole ordeal behind us! We shall see.