Within the past few years there have been a lot of reports of musician robbery while on tour. Bands are having either their trailers broken into, the touring vehicle is broken into, or stolen entirely. However, there are way to avoid your vehicle or trailer robbery while on tour. Here are 8 Tips to Avoid Robbery While on Tour.
1: Take shifts for staying with the vehicle/trailer while on tour
This one can be a little unfortunate. The person staying behind watching the vehicle may miss out on potential band activities. Granted you may miss out on group activities but would you rather stay behind and maybe take a nap or risk robbery? Staying behind may not sound fun but if someone is around the vehicle it will deter thieves from breaking in. My band played a show once in Montreal, Canada and people were consistently looking into our van’s window. When I emerged from the van the person said “oh, hello” and quickly walked off.
2: If using a trailer, park trailer as close to a wall as possible
When parking a trailer most bands may be inclined to park wherever is easiest and with the ability to easily access the trailer. The thing is, when parking in a spot with ease of access to the trailer it’s also easier for robbers to access the trailer. When parking a trailer up against a wall this stops the thieves from opening the trailer door to steal equipment. Not only does this leave less room to open a trailer door, there’s less room for lock cutting.
3: Get a really good lock
If you’re using a trailer, there’s typically a latch on the door with a hole for a padlock. Most people may be inclined to use a standard padlock, problem is most can be cut easy. I recommend getting a nice lock that’s nearly impossible to cut. Brinks offers a lock that can’t be cut because of how little cut room is available due to its round shape. The Brinks Discus Padlock is the perfect choice and it’s only $10.00-$12.00 on Amazon. I highly recommend it because the only way a thief will get in the van is via blow torch. If you’ve ever tried cutting a steel lock with a blow torch you know that it’s a lengthy process. Not only that, they could light the trailer on fire.
Basically the only way someone is getting is the trailer is by ripping the door off the hinges. Robbers want ease of access, not to make a ton of noise acting like the Hulk.
4: Don’t detach a trailer from the touring vehicle
Parking with a van and trailer is often a big issue with most bands. Some venues may not give dedicated parking for vehicles with a trailer in tow. With that in mind you may be tempted to detach the trailer from the van so you can easily park. However, detaching the trailer from a touring vehicle is an easy way for someone to drive up, attach it to their trailer hitch, and drive off. Contacting promoters or venue owners prior to the show with parking concerns may help with securing a safer parking spot.
5: Keep your vehicle and trailer in a lighted area
Thieves tend to break into a house or vehicle primarily at night to avoid being seen. Granted there are scenarios when thieves break into or steal cars during the day but there’s a higher risk of robbery at night. Keeping your vehicle in brighter places puts thieves at higher risk of being seen or recognized in a recording which will reduces theft.
Not only does it put them at risk. Having the ability to easily see a well lit touring vehicle allows you to keep a better eye on your stuff.
6: Keep important personal belongings with you
Thieves often look for the easiest stuff to grab to make a quick escape or a place to easily take a large amount of things without being seen. When it comes to the easiest things to steal these can often be laptops, backpacks, or even cell phones. If by some some chance a thief breaks into your touring vehicle you want to make sure that the most important belongings you don’t want stolen stay with you. Items such as passports, licenses, and social security cards can often be sold on the Dark Web for a hefty sums. Especially for those looking for a new identity or use your identity to obtain loans which can hurt your credit.
Carrying these personal belongings with you will reduce the risk of your identity being compromised. If you’re worried about a laptop being stolen I typically recommend putting it in a backpack that’s not easily accessible for thieves to compromise. Theft proof backpacks are available with no option to unzip while wearing. Click here to see those backpacks. Prices range from $30.00-$100.00.
7: Track your electronics
Smart devices or laptops that have location services enabled are a great way to locate them if stolen. More often than not these services give you the location with the ability to lock them remotely. If you’re using an Apple device I recommend using the “Find My iPhone” setting. Another service I recommend is Prey Project. This is similar to “Find My iPhone” but it’s for all types of devices regardless of Apple or PC. You can take a picture of the thief and even wipe hard drives remotely to save your files from being compromised. Just be aware to back-up your files before doing so.
8: Don’t advertise you’re a touring band on your vehicle or trailer
Bands may be compelled to have things done such as vehicle wraps or having their logo on the side of the trailer. While this may seem like a great idea for promotion while driving, it’s a clear sign of “rob us, we have valuables”. Having your vehicle and trailer as plain as possible will reduce focus on your vehicle and trailer from being compromised.