Rapper Rich Homie Quan is the latest musician whose tour bus has been broken into and he’s claiming thieves made off with up to $2,000 worth of gear. Tour bus break ins are nothing new in the music world, in fact, they’re common occurrences given that even a lay person would know that there’s probably gold in them thar vans. Or at least some laptops and a few instruments.
In September, 2016, a man was arrested after stealing over $3 million worth of jewelry from Drake’s tour bus while the “Hotline Bling” rapper performed at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ. Travion King was arrested and charged with felony burglary. But seriously, Drake, with celebs targeted in so many thefts lately, we don’t think you keep $3 million in jewelry anywhere except a bank vault. Just take out the pieces you need for those special occasions!
Tennessee-based roots-rock band The Black Lillies didn’t just have their gear stolen out of their van, they had their entire van stolen while performing in Houston, TX in January 2016. The band recalls that they went to bed after their performance around 11 p.m. and when they woke up, their travel trailer and passenger van which contained all their gear were no longer in the hotel parking lot. The trailer and van were worth $30,000 together, but their gear inside was valued at $70,000. The van was discovered abandoned days later on the side of the road in Houston, and wiped clean of all of its contents.
Indie band Surfer Blood was hard hit on a personal level when their tour van was robbed in Chicago in May 2015. Their guitarist, Thomas Fekete, had just left the band that April to battle a rare form of cancer, and his bandmates were collecting cash donations at their shows to go toward his medical bills. They lost thousands of dollars in personal belongings as well as the donations they had collected while on tour as a result of the theft. Very sad. Hate these kinds of events that make us question humanity (but, guess the flip side is that it was kind, charitable, generous people who gave the money in the first place. Good will always prevail over evil!).
Not quite a van break-in but a real heartbreaker of a theft in the music community: In 2012, five of Tom Petty and his bandmates’ guitars were stolen from a soundstage where he was rehearsing for a tour, in Culver City, CA. Petty issued a $7500, no questions asked reward for the instruments, several of which were rare and incredibly valuable. (The entire collection was valued at over $100,000.) Shortly after the theft, an arrest was made and a security guard for the soundstage was charged after it was discovered that he had pawned one of the instruments for $250.
Unfortunately, while tour van break-ins are increasingly common what happened to the band Spose might take the cake. The band had been enjoying some St. Louis barbecue at Pappy’s Smokehouse in March 2015, and after paying their bill, they discovered that all three of their touring vehicles had been broken into and over $30k worth of equipment was taken — in broad daylight. Band member Ryan Spose explained “St. Louis is the only city where anybody ever warned us, ‘Watch out for your van. There’s a big series of robberies.’”
And speaking of St. Louis… Here’s a tale of an unsuccessful thief who tried to break in to rapper Lil’ Boosie’s tour van back in March of 2017. The man snuck on to Boosie’s van which was parked outside The Marquee in St. Louis, and was jumped by Boosie’s entourage without taking anything. And before you could shout “World Star!” the entire encounter was caught on tape.
The bright side of all these thefts? No one was injured–except perhaps the thief attempting to take down Lil’ Boosie’s van!