UTICA — After playing a show at The Woods Church in Warren Oct. 18 to promote their newest CD, Jared Anderson and his band returned to their hotel in Utica not expecting that, in the morning, their van and trailer full of musical equipment — worth thousands of dollars — would be missing.
“We were kind of in a state of shock, like this was really happening and really not good,” said Anderson. “But we had our suitcases, and we were OK.”
Anderson lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was also a member of Desperation Band, a three-part worship band that performed at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and he continues to work on music for the church.
Anderson said he believed he locked the van, but that there was a spare key located in the glove box and that there was no broken glass or debris where the van had been parked. He mentioned that he noticed three suspicious-looking individuals run to the adjacent Applebee’s restaurant when the band arrived at the hotel, but neither the LaQuinta Hotel nor the restaurant had outdoor surveillance cameras.
One positive is that the band was planning on heading home Oct. 20, so they did not have to miss any immediate tour dates.
Utica Police Chief David Faber said that auto thefts are uncommon in the city of Utica, and he estimated that there have been fewer than six this year. He said trailers are commonly parked in parking lots in the Utica hotel district and that the suspects may have targeted Anderson after his show.
“I’m guessing that somebody obviously knew that there were these instruments and valuable equipment inside the trailer, where they’d followed him from the performance,” Faber said. “We’re continuing to investigate.”
While the trailer is still missing, Anderson’s van turned up in Detroit, albeit stripped of all electronics, wiring and even winter tire chains that were inside the vehicle. However, it was sufficiently drivable to make the return trip to Colorado.
“It’s not uncommon on a stolen vehicle that they’ll strip it down to as many pieces as they can and sell those for money,” Faber said. “We don’t give up until we catch somebody.”
Included inside the trailer was a drum set Anderson’s drummer had stripped and refurbished, as well as a rare Yamaha upright digital piano, Anderson said.
He and Faber worked together to enter the serial numbers of the lost equipment into a system that will alert the police if somebody tries to pawn them. But the trailer also contained family keepsakes Anderson picked up in Minnesota, passed down from his wife’s grandfather.
“That’s stuff you just can’t really replace,” he said. “Just a lot of personal things.”
Anderson said the band currently is borrowing equipment to make it to the end of the tour, and then they will try to rebuild what they can.
He said he is going to take things one day at a time because he and his wife, who have four children between the ages of 3 and 9, are also in the last phase of adopting two young children from Haiti.
In the future, Anderson stressed that he will be sure to get a really good insurance policy on everything.
Anderson’s record label, Integrity Music, set up a Fundly donation page to help the band with the cost of replacing its losses. To donate, visit www.fundly.com and search for “Jared Anderson Stolen Equipment.”
For more information about Jared Anderson, visit his website at www.jaredanderson.com.
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