Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tour Diaries! XIXA Day 13: Italian Thieves! XIXA Tour Van Busted Into, Gear Ripped Off.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 4:30 PM

Day 13

Thirteen.

That unlucky number. I never believed that, until today.

While we slept (late), thieves went shopping in our Mercedes Sprinter. It didn't help that the vehicle has a logo that screams, "Look! All-You-Can-Steal band gear inside!"
click to enlarge We were kinda relieved the thieves weren't pros ... - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • We were kinda relieved the thieves weren't pros ...

We were just enjoying our days off in Turin, Italy. That's when we were notified by the hotel front desk that the police needed a word with us, and that our vehicle was burglarized.

Great.

Just, great.
click to enlarge The 150.00 € parking mistake. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • The 150.00 € parking mistake.

We don't have a security detachment, much less a crew, like some artists I've worked for. We are strictly DIY, which makes this even more difficult. Trying to find a secure place to park in Europe, especially in the more congested cities like Turin, is nearly impossible, like finding that proverbial needle in a hay stack. We thought we were lucky to secure the space. More, we were assured by hotel staff that it would be just fine where it was.

It wasn't.

The break-in itself seemed to be committed by amateurs, but apparently there's a web of thieves who go around stealing musical instruments all over Europe and, a lot of them end up in the U.K.
The Italian police were very helpful and even gave us a police escort to the glass repair shop and helped the glazier (also a drummer!) install the glass.


They Italian cops were big music fans and knew some of my history because, when they took my name down one of the officers immediately Googled it and up came an old image of me, in a past life.

I had more hair then.
click to enlarge The Italian Police, protection and service. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • The Italian Police, protection and service.

I was struck by how compassionate and concerned they were, not only for our vehicle but for our safety in the city. For that we are very grateful. 
click to enlarge The Men in Blue and yours truly. When you like Rock, it doesn't matter what uniform you wear. - XIXA
  • XIXA
  • The Men in Blue and yours truly. When you like Rock, it doesn't matter what uniform you wear.

I think the one thing that I would tell any new touring band is this: If all the things that are precious to you inside your vehicle are not taken out by you, someone else will do it for you, gladly. And, not very politely.

I think you'd be better served if the side of your vehicle said "Diaper Service" instead of the logo we have that basically says,"Free gear inside, help yourself."

Thankfully, nobody was hurt and we all learned a valuable lesson.

But my beloved leather jacket is gone forever. 
click to enlarge Goodbye, old friend. - WINSTON WATSON
  • Winston Watson
  • Goodbye, old friend.


After repairs and anguish, we set about replacing our stolen gear $$$. Had some nice meals together, and retired, earlier than usual. Tomorrow, we play a nice festival, near Turin.

XIXA can't stop. Won't stop. Eh eh, eh eh.

Stay tuned.

 -WW, Italy

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