Montreal rock group Death Proof turns detective in hunt for stolen gear
A Montreal rock band whose gear was stolen put on their detectives hats to retrieve their instruments after they said police wouldn’t help them.
Two weeks ago the members of Death Proof woke up the day after playing a show in the Plateau to find themselves living every rock band’s worst nightmare. Too tired to drive, they had left their car on St-Laurent Blvd. with all the gear still inside.
“I was sleeping and (bassist) Steph (Lemieux) called me and was like ‘Oh no, you won’t believe what happened. Our gear is missing,’” said guitarist Masha Temoch.
The car’s windows had been smashed and nearly $4,000 worth of musical gear was stolen.
The members of Death Proof called police but officers said there wasn’t much that could be done.
“That day we would have gone through whatever avenue we needed to go through to get our stuff back,” said drummer Katerina Cordos. “We weren’t taking no for an answer.”
Among the items that were stolen was a credit card. A call to the bank revealed the exact time and location the card was used by the thief – a Couche-Tard on St-Laurent.
“They were willing to help us so they let us look at their security footage,” said Temoch.
With an image of the suspect in their hands, Death Proof returned to police but were told it would take two months before an investigation would be opened. The band was told they stood a better chance at retrieving their property if they looked into it themselves.
“That was actually surprising to me because it seemed a little bit dangerous,” said Temoch.
The trio called pawn shops and were shocked to find their gear at one store.
“We proved that the gear was indeed ours,” said Cordos. “We had pictures and proof, we also proved the woman who used Steph’s credit card was the same woman who sold our gear at the pawn shop.”
Despite all the evidence the band was forced to buy back their instruments since the pawn shop was unaware the items were stolen when they had been brought in.
“We were shocked,” said Cordos. “We thought the police had enough authority to give us back our items.”
A spokesperson for the SPVM said they were unable to comment on specific cases but encouraged anyone who finds their stolen items at a pawn shop to contact their neighbourhood police station.
Despite the pain of the theft, the band said they have empathy for the alleged thief who they learned sleeps in a Plateau park. Death Proof has organized an acoustic benefit concert to take place on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the corner of St. Joseph and St-Laurent.
“I think in events like that it’s important to react with compassion and not react to a negative event with negativity,” said Temoch.
“We’re asking people to bring warm blankets and clothing they no longer need so we can hand them out to homeless in the area,” added Cordos.
Montreal's history of musical theft
Montreal has a long history of stolen musical gear.
In May an Ontario punk band called The Penske File had their van, loaded with all their instruments, cash and passports, stolen while the group was in town for Pouzza Fest.
In October 2016 indie rockers Royal Canoe also had their equipment, valued at as much as $85,000, stolen during a Montreal tour date.
Even punk legend Iggy Pop has been a victim, having a truck filled with gear stolen during a 2009 tour date in the city.
Sometimes those thefts have happy endings: in January April Wine’s Myles Goodwyn was reunited with a 1962 Gibson Melody Maker guitar that was stolen in Montreal in 1972.