Life on the road for a Long Island blues rock band hit a rough patch Monday when band members awoke to find a U-Haul rental trailer containing all their equipment had been stolen from a hotel parking lot in Raleigh, North Carolina.
But lead singer and guitarist Kelli Baker of the Huntington-based Kelli Baker Band said Tuesday that although the police still hadn’t made any arrests, the band tracked the trailer using a geo-locating system, then used social media to help track the equipment to a Raleigh pawnshop.
“I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster,” Baker, of Huntington, said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I’ve been styling my hair with a fork the past two days, but we were able to locate about 80% of our equipment and we’ve gotten it back, so it’s not all bad.”
The Raleigh Police Department said they received a complaint Monday at 10:22 a.m. reporting the theft of the U-Haul trailer from the parking lot at the Hilton hotel on Wake Forest Road.
A police report showed that among the items stolen with the trailer were a five-piece Silver Star drum set and an acoustic guitar. The band said the stolen trailer also had five other guitars, including an orange Rickenbacker bass, three amps, speaker stands, cables, an iPad and a host of personal items.
On Tuesday, police said they have yet to make an arrest in the case.
Baker said on Monday she and her bandmates — bass player Matt Hoyer of Huntington, guitarist Rick Vichlenski of Bohemia and drummer Andy Dwork of Massapequa Park — were able to track the trailer to the parking lot of a nearby AutoZone. While Baker remained at the Hilton — "They let me set up headquarters right there in the lobby," she said — the rest of the band went to the auto parts store and found the trailer. All the equipment was gone, Baker said.
However, in a strange twist, she said the U-Haul contained an unopened safe.
Police would not immediately confirm whether the safe was part of a separate theft.
Baker said investigators had obtained a video showing four men believed to be involved in the theft of the trailer.
"And," she said, "in Carolina you've got to submit an ID when you pawn items. So, we're gonna see."
The next Long Island date for the band is Aug. 4 at the Industry Lounge & Gallery on New York Avenue in Huntington.
On Tuesday, Baker said the whole ordeal had made for a couple of tough days.
"But," she said, "there's a song lyric in here somewhere."
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