Music instrument theft happens to musicians from all walks of life – these simple tips can help prevent it from happening to you
If you’ve never been the victim of music instrument theft, chances are you know someone who has or you’ve seen at least one Facebook post about someone’s stolen music instrument. As this is our chosen mission in life, we’re sharing five simple things you can do to prevent theft and set yourself up for recovery in case it happens to you!
Never leave a man behind (in the car)
Not only can extreme temperatures play havoc on your musical setup; car, van, and trailer break-ins are the most common music instrument theft stories we hear. Bring your gear inside!
Duck and cover
Your garage may be a great place to get loud, but anyone with the proper motivation and inclination can guess that your gear is vulnerable when the place is quiet. Put things away after practicing, cover windows when possible, and lock it up.
Insure it already
If you make money with your rig, it probably won’t be covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Check the fine print and look into music instrument insurance. It’s actually not too expensive and can get you back on the road quickly if disaster strikes.
Take a moment and record the serial numbers from all your music gear. Take photos of everything, including identifying marks. These important details can mean getting your instrument back should theft occur. Store these details in a safe place, away from gear. We know a good place…
Make your mark
Place a sneaky hidden ID in your instrument (especially if it doesn’t have a serial number) in a place thieves wouldn’t think to look. Do the same with your case.
Image of car thief via ShutterStock.com.
GearTrack is an online registry that aims to deter music instrument theft and aid in recovery. Instrument owners can itemize their collections and victims of theft can send stolen alerts to the WatchDog network and access tools for search and recovery. Buyers and sellers can easily search serial numbers before trading and selling their gear. Learn more and register your instruments at Gear-Track.com.
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Don’t put any identifying markers on your car that would indicate to a smash-and-grabber that there may be valuable gear in the car. A “Fender” sticker in the window or a personalized license plate saying “GUITRIST” or “BASSPLYR” is asking for trouble. I’m a drummer and my wagon has deep tinted windows and rolls incognito. The only tip-off might be that it rides quite a bit lower when it’s fully loaded.
Also, don’t be posting pics of all your instruments and gear on facebook. I know it’s cool to show off your stuff but you’re inviting EVERYONE into your home at that point.
Only if people know where you live. I try to keep most personal information off Facebook completely and utilize their groups and lists features.
ALL MUSICIAN’S SHOULD TAKE NOTE.