If you’re an avid Tone Deaf reader, you’ll know that we regularly report on local bands and artists who’ve had their gear stolen. We’re never excited to run these stories, but we always hope that doing so might lead to the gear being recovered.

You might also have noticed that we’re forced to run these stories more often than we should. It seems that every month an independent band has their van or car broken into and expensive and sentimentally valuable gear stolen.

Last month, we reported on the case of Sydney’s Lepers & Crooks, who decided to take matters into their own hands after a thief made off with six guitars, including several valuable Gibsons, a bass, mixing equipment, expensive microphones, and the band’s merch tin.

The band had a single stroke of luck in that the thief happened to be someone they’d previously encountered, but as Alt Press note, for most bands, when equipment goes missing, few avenues are open to them.

Independent bands are often unable to afford proper insurance for their gear and police are rarely able to pursue and prosecute anyone, as there is little proper infrastructure in place to help bands who are robbed.

One of the main problems is a lack of security for up-and-coming bands. Independent bands are often forced to leave their transportation in venue car parks or on the street, leaving them vulnerable to passers-by or determined equipment thieves.

But thankfully, there is now technology that can help bands catch the criminals who prove such a scourge to Australia’s musical community, meaning they no longer have to rely on police or the kindness of fans to recover their gear.

As Alt Press reports, GPS trackers by companies like Dewalt and Spy Tec can be placed in an equipment case, trailer, car, or van and allow a musician to pinpoint precisely where their van and/or equipment have gone.

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These systems not only alert users to when their van has been broken into, but also leads police directly to the stolen property. Such technology has already allowed Texas musician to get his gear back following a recent robbery.

“Musicians are a target for thieves because we carry a lot of valuable equipment in a van/trailer that takes a professional thief about one minute to steal,” Williams wrote on Facebook, posting a video in which he explains how his gear was recovered.

Part of the problem when it comes to gear theft is the perception that it’s an “easy hit” for criminals. Installing trackers like the Spy Tec STI_GL300, which sells for about $130, could potentially act as a deterrent to other would-be thieves.

Musicians are a target for thieves because we carry a lot of valuable equipment in a van/trailer that takes a professional thief about one minute to steal. Here's a video where I show you the DEWALT MOBILELOCK, which helped us get almost all our gear back immediately after it was stolen last month while we ate lunch. I'm not getting anything to promote this, I just want more bad guys caught and more bands getting their stuff back. Show this to the bands you know, because sadly it's almost more a matter of "when" their stuff will be stolen instead of "if". More details at www.dewaltmobilelock.com. For my music, visit www.zanewilliamsmusic.com

Posted by Zane Williams on Saturday, July 11, 2015