Another band passing through St. Louis has suffered a van break-in in broad daylight — and one band member says she now has "absolutely no interest in coming to, or even through, St. Louis again."
Denver-based Jimbo Darville & the Truckadours was passing through town August 16 en route to Nashville. They played a show at the Angry Beaver, and they say that both the venue and their hotel warned them about the recent rash of thefts in St. Louis. They took precautions.
They thought they were OK when they made it through the night without incident. But then they decided to stop for lunch on their way out of town at Pappy's Smokehouse — where, according to the police report they later filed, they were robbed around 2 p.m.
The band's Traci "Sweet T" Morin tells us the story via email:
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The van was unattended for probably 15 minutes total; we didn't realize when we parked to grab some ribs to go that you have to wait in line forever around the back side of the restaurant, and it took longer than we thought. One of our members stayed behind out near the van but went for a 15-minute walk. [That's] when we were obviously hit.
They took all our personal bags, laptops, phone, but luckily no instruments or gear. But my bag unfortunately had cash and several thousand dollars of custom jewelry that had been made for me by artist friends, as well as a couple pieces I had inherited which are irreplaceable. Even my books of my completed original songs (which I at least can remember and re-write) and my "idea book" (many of which may never come back my way), and the ONLY pair of jeans I owned that didn't have holes in them! Talk about insult to injury. Quite the loss. I am still physically ill over losing some of the items, as well as at the stupidity of not realizing just HOW dangerous that city is, no matter the area or time of day.
Before I get any "Why did you leave your bag with all your favorite things in the van?" questions : I would of course have dragged my sizable duffle bag with me had I any inkling that it would take more than a minute at Pappy's (even though we eventually gave up on waiting and went to Southern instead), or that your local thieves are so brazen, quick and obviously FOLLOWING and WATCHING vans for that one moment they are unattended. Or had I even realized the true extent to which touring bands and vans have been targeted there.
Yes, I was naive as to how very shitty people can be. Oh yeah, a young couple in an SUV with a trailer was parked right in front of us and also got robbed when we did, and here's a good story for you — they were on their way to get married in Iowa and were relieved of their bag containing their wedding rings, marriage license etc. These thieves fucking SUCK and it's very hard not to transfer my feelings about them to the city itself as a whole. They took nearly all of the few nice things I have ever owned.
... We asked [the police] if the stuff was likely being pawned, to which she replied "No, they don't pawn this stuff because pawn shops have to log everything they take in. They sell this stuff at the A-rab stores." We had no idea what the hell she was talking about regarding "A-rab stores." She enlightened us: "The corner stores in the ghetto that the A-rabs own." Nice.
So go find our stuff and arrest these jackasses who are giving your town a REEEALLY bad name!! I mean, it's the same thing every time, from what I'm reading online, so why not a simple sting or two?
I can assure you I have absolutely NO interest in coming to or even through St Louis again. And that's really too bad as we met some nice people and played with a really great local band with whom we really hit it off (Oak Steel and Lightning).
Yes, it can and does happen in many cities, but it's obviously a VERY big problem there in particular and there seems to be little interest in preventing it or recovering the property, from what I can tell. ... Yes, I am telling every musician/band I know to STAY FAR AWAY from St Louis — it's absolutely not worth it, and we can't afford to hire a "van guard" just to play there. And to top it all off (to quote Jimbo Darville himself)... NEVER EVEN GOT MY RIBS.