Nelson musican Aaron Douglas has had the majority of his musical equipment stolen. Photo: Andrew Board.

Thieves target musicians

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A Nelson musician says he has lost his ability to work after most of his performing equipment was stolen last weekend.
And it has emerged he’s the second musician to be targeted in Nelson.
Last year local rockabilly group Krazy Katz had $12,000 worth of their gear stolen from a trailer packed down their long driveway after performing a gig at the Vic Brew Bar. Lead singer John Jessop believes they were followed home before being robbed. “We live on a cul-de-sac and the trailer was down our drive, for them to know it was there they must have seen us loading it up after our gig.”

Aaron Douglas believes he could be the victim of a similar attack. He plays in bars all over Nelson and performing is his job. He says his gear was stolen last weekend after performing on Saturday. He says the loss is a huge blow. “It’s like a builder or a mechanic losing all of his tools and not being able to replace them. I’ve spent years building it all up and feeling quite good about it. Now it’s all gone.”
He says he’s had to cancel two shows already and has been lucky enough to borrow equipment from friends to perform over the weekend, but that will only last for so long. “I’m lucky I’ve got musician friends who are saying ‘you can borrow this and this’ but that’s a short term fix. These people that I’m borrowing gear from have taken time to own their own stuff and got it for themselves so I don’t want to take advantage of that. I’m lucky I’ve been able to in the short term.”
He says after years of working and building up a collection of good quality equipment he has to start again. His insurance doesn’t cover the loss because the gear was stolen from his car, not from his home.
John says insurance did pay up on their theft but they were warned they wouldn’t be covered if it happened again.

Aaron is still hopeful the gear may surface but is realistic and says it was probably in Christchurch within hours. “I need to keep working to replace the stuff, but I need the stuff to keep working so it’s a bit of a cycle. But I do have an avenue available, unfortunately that just means getting into a heap of debt.”
Police fingerprinted the scene but say glove smudges were all that were found. They say it doesn’t appear the two incidents are related and ask that if anyone is offered musical equipment and is concerned about the “legitimacy of the seller”, to contact them.