June 30


Can You Recover Your Stolen Gear?

By Keith Livingston

June 30, 2016

craigslist, musical gear, trailer

A few months back, I listed some musical gear on Craigslist. Most of the responses I got were from folks wanting to trade, rather than buy. It got me to thinking. . .

If I were a thief, I wouldn’t want to sell the items I’d stolen on CL, it’s too obvious. Many people who get something stolen will look there to see if their gear shows up. But what if they didn’t list the stolen items for sale, but instead contacted other sellers and offered to trade? Then, they could sell the gear they traded for. In this scheme, at no time is the stolen gear listed on Craigslist. Clever.

So, here’s what I’d do, if I got some gear stolen.

  1. Post an ad on Craigslist for some piece of musical gear for sale (something worth a couple hundred dollars, at least).
  2. If anyone contacts you and asks if you are willing to trade, ask them what is available.
  3. If they mention your gear, tell them you’re interested, get their contact info, and call the police.

Now, I’ve never tried this personally, and I’ve never heard anyone float the idea before, but it seems obvious to me that this Craigslist scam is a real possibility.

Don’t Take On A Gang, Please

Keep in mind, gear is sometimes stolen by gangs. You don’t want to mess with them. Let the police handle it. Recently, the cops in Houston busted 130 people who were suspected of operating a huge, organized crime ring that targets musicians. They would drive around looking for vehicles pulling trailers, steal them, take the contents, and leave the vehicles. One guy with a GPS on his stuff, helped bring them down.

And of course, that’s another thing to keep in mind. If you leave your U-Haul sitting overnight, full of gear, it’s a target.

It’s too bad the world is this way, but as long as it is, use these tips to keep your gear from being stolen, and potentially recover your stolen gear.

Keith (a DIY Musician — just like yourself)

Keith Livingston

About the author

Keith Livingston started recording his own music in the late '70s, on a 4-track. He worked his way into live sound and studio work as an engineer -- mixing in arenas, working on projects in many major studios as a producer/engineer, and working in conjunction with an independent label.

He taught audio engineering at the Art Institute of Seattle, from 1990-1993, and in '96, contributing to authoring several college-level courses there.

He was General Manager of Радио один (Radio 1) in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Now he spends his time recording his own songs wherever he roams, and teaching others to do the same.

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