WEST COAST: Two Gear Thefts in Two Weeks – Electronic Musicians Beware

A 47% spike in automobile break ins in San Francisco has affected musicians and tourists alike. We’ve reported on it time and time again, but electronic musicians were hit by this plague especially hard recently.

Within the span of two weeks, two electronic musicians have had their vehicles broken into and loads of their gear stolen. Electronic musicians are, of course, at especial risk for this kind of thing: their musical equipment is relatively small, easily transportable, and worth a good deal of money on the second-hand market.

On Aug. 28, Matia Simovich of local synthpop act Inhalt was recording at Different Fur Studios located right off of 19th and Valencia. When he returned to his vehicle (parked on 19th St., between Lexington and Valencia, right across from Different Fur), he realized his car had been broken into and a great deal of gear had been stolen. The list is as follows:

• Dave Smith Instruments (aka Sequential Circuits) Prophet-6 Serial No. 56
• Korg SDD3000 pedal Serial No. 001866
• Eventide H9 pedal Serial No. H9-09058 (housed in velvet drawstring bag)
• Moog Cluster Flux effects unit Serial No. 1294
• Moog Phaser MF-103 effects unit Serial No. 06215
• Boss CE-1 vintage pedal

Matia states that the Prophet-6 was housed in a grey GigSkinz bag (pictured here) with three of the effects units tucked into pockets, and the rest of the units were housed in a Line 6 bag (pictured here).

On Sept. 9, Andrew Clinco of L.A. post-punk act Drab Majesty was performing live at The Elbo Room. Nothing happened during the show, but after the show ended, he left and drove to SoMa to stay the night. He parked at 8th and Minna, and when he returned in the morning, discovered that his car was broken into with all of his gear stolen. Clinco suspects he may have been followed upon leaving Elbo Room; he points out that none of the other cars on the street (Minna) were broken into. He’s launched a GoFundMe page in order to attempt to recoup the costs of the stolen gear.

His stolen gear list:

• Korg Pitchblack tuner
• Ibanez Tube Screamer pedal (vintage)
• Boss CE-2 pedal (vintage)
• Boss CE-5 pedal
• Three Boss digital delays
• Ibanez CS9 pedal (vintage)
• Voodoo Labs Pedal Power
• Moog MuRF effects unit
• DigiTech DigiDelay pedal
• Peavey Bandit 65 amplifier
• Fog machine

Several musicians we talked to said they felt they had been watched while loading or unloading gear. A police source confirmed that some criminals do just that, following your automobile until you leave it unattended.

Musically-inclined types should keep their eyes peeled for scads of gear appearing at local shops or on Craigslist. It’s also a reminder to make note of serial numbers for all gear in your possession, and it’s also wise to look into whether or not your gear is insured (vanilla homeowners or renters insurance may or may not cover your gear, depending on its use — it’s wise to speak to an agent).

And if nothing else, take this moment to discover two bands you may not have heard of before, both of which are excellent: Inhalt and Drab Majesty. Inhalt is performing in San Francisco soon, opening for Front 242 at the Mezzanine on Sept. 25; Drab Majesty just released an excellent album on Dais Records. Support independent artists by any means possible!