What had started as a laid-back appearance at a Dallas festival last weekend has turned into a weeklong ordeal for Houston R&B act The Suffers, who had their band's trailer and, with it, thousands of dollars of equipment stolen during their visit to North Texas.
The Suffers had played a midday set at Homegrown Fest on Sunday afternoon, leaving the festival grounds at approximately 5 p.m. to make their way to Randall Reed’s Park Cities Ford of Dallas in hopes of getting their van repaired. The dealership was closed, but an on-site security guard instructed the band to leave their van at the facility overnight so the vehicle could be promptly serviced the following morning. The van had attached to it a trailer, which was left detached from the van in the dealership’s employee parking lot.
“We took as much of the equipment that we had in the trailer with us (and put it) in a rental (car),” drummer Nick Zamora tells the Dallas Observer over the phone. “There (were) a couple of big items that had to stay in there.”
Vocalist Kam Franklin stayed in Dallas to tend to the vehicle during the repair process, and the remaining band members returned to Houston the following morning. According to Zamora, the Park Cities Ford security guard drove around the property on Monday morning and found the trailer still parked at approximately 4 a.m. Whenever he circled back around at approximately 5 a.m., however, it was nowhere to be found.
“(The trailer) had a lock on it to prevent it from getting hitched to another vehicle,” says Zamora. “It’s something we’ve learned over the few years dealing with this. … There’s always a way for somebody to get something they want.”
Fortunately, the band had the foresight to keep as much equipment stored separately as possible, but with the cost of the trailer included, they still took a hit somewhere in the ballpark of $33,000. Most of the instruments themselves, especially guitars and drums, are still in the band’s possession, but about $8,000 worth of microphones and $1,200 worth of cables alone were not salvageable. Other items in the trailer included a digital console, two Nord keyboards, a Roland drum machine and a Yamaha snare drum.
Despite such misfortune, Zamora takes comfort in the outpouring of support the band has received in the aftermath of this incident.
“The dealership has been really helpful," he says. "We reached out (in) a couple different ways to (the Dallas Police Department), and from a number of angles, (they) jumped on it really quickly.”
Fans have reached out to the band and have offered assistance in the form of money or equipment. Zamora has also stated that microphone manufacturer Telefunken’s Connecticut office reached out to Franklin and offered to replace some of the stolen mics.
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“It’s really cool to know that people are there for us,” Zamora says.
A police report for this incident has been filed, and a complete list of the missing equipment has been sent to DPD and to every participating North Texas-area Guitar Center.
According to Title 4, Sec. 371.181 of the Texas Finance Code, “A pawnbroker shall monitor goods purchased, accepted in pawn, or otherwise acquired by the pawnbroker in order to identify and prohibit transactions involving stolen goods.”
Per the band’s official statement on Facebook, a public list of stolen items is forthcoming. In the meantime, anyone who sees a trailer with the Texas license plate 271269J, or has any other tips, is asked to contact the DPD. The number for the department’s auto theft investigative unit is 214-671-3535.