Thieves keep targeting musicians

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The lyrics might have changed but the song remains the same for a group of musicians playing in St. Louis.

“We had a van stolen and we had a van broken into,” says Paige Brubeck, a musician with Sleepy Kitty. “We just had our van rifled through and someone stole all the gas out of it.”

Thieves siphoned the gas from the van and now word is spreading a sour note about St. Louis.

“Bands stay with us all the time and they’re telling us that they’re hearing about it from other band,” says Brubeck. “Either their gear has been stolen or friends and word gets out in the independent music scene.”

Columbus, Ohio band Two Cow Garage had $12,000 worth of gear stolen in March after a stop in St. Louis. They later found some of the items for sale on eBay but have yet to get those items back.

“It would be like taking away the saws and hammers from a carpenter. It’s their tools to do what you do,” says David Murphy, Two Cow Garage.

Evan Sult agrees. Besides playing drums for Sleepy Kitty, he’s the publisher of Eleven magazine, a St. Louis-based music publication.

“Stuff stolen out of them that is the same as if they were office buildings to someone else,” Sult says. “It needs to be treated that way. If we had as many offices being broken into and getting their computers stolen, there would be a different kind of attention on it. So I think that it won’t be resolved until it’s treated as seriously as it is.”

Until police snare the suspects, Sult has taken to modifying his own band’s security, bringing the club every time they go play a club.

In the meantime, musicians and venue owners will have to work together to keep the music scene safe.

“Alarms, cages whatever you need to do to secure your equipment, or even have it off sight somewhere if you have that opportunity,” says Vince Valenza, owner of Blues City Deli.