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How to Thwart Music Equipment Theft

From rock stars to up-and-comers towing U-Haul trailers, too many artists and musi­cians have been victims of equipment theft. Whether it’s Tom Petty and the Heart­breakers losing five vintage guitars during a soundcheck to a sticky-fingered security guard, or Country newcomer JJ Lawhorn being ripped off for $4,000 worth of gear from his band’s van while checking into a hotel in Valdosta, Ga., no one is immune.

But everyone can more effectively deal with and prevent equipment loss.

Step One involves purchasing replacement value insurance or, at the very least, adding replacement value riders to homeowners insurance as a safeguard against theft. “All my gear is insured for replacement value,” said veteran guitarist, guitar builder and former Lonestar tech Ricky Dodson. “I have detailed descriptions of my gear and any upgrades that were made to them, as well as model and serial numbers, obviously. I take pictures and mark them, sometimes overtly and sometimes subtly, where the would-be thief might not think to look for it. Also, I don’t advertise on my car that I play, with bumper stickers of brands or anything like that. And I always leave my gear in the trunk if I can’t carry it with me.”

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