Blue Room technical forum: how much stuff have you had stolen? - Blue Room technical forum

Jump to content

  • 4 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

how much stuff have you had stolen? sob stories and tips for avoiding losses please

#1 User is offline   LJ 

  • Casual
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 08-April 08
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:birmingham

  Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:49 PM

Apologies if this has been done before, I could find specific Stolen / Lost threads but not general ones.


Last year, we did a one-day Saturday urban music festival that went on until 6AM, with a huge build and takedown. We stored an aluminium roof structure in the (allegedly) secure compound at the venue overnight on the Sunday, and then when we came to take away the last stuff on the Monday, the roof beams were gone.

Examination of the CCTV from the venue shows them opening the secure compound at 7.30 and then a van coming in at 7.35AM and loading all the beams. :D Footage was too grainy to show the numberplate. This was midsummer, we had a week to replace them or pay 3000/week for the hire company to get an alternative. Fortunately the very lovely people at Crockers made me some in time and we managed to avoid the fines.

This experience has taught me to avoid trusting venues with my gear. And the importance of big chains and padlocks.

In April, someone knicked our pallet truck from Ally Pally - it's yellow, wide forks, and has SLICK written in red paint on the side - if anyone sees it about anywhere, I'd really like it back. Mind you, I know a huge amount of kit has gone missing from there this year, so one pallet truck is not much to complain about I guess.


I am not averse to taking home stuff (and riders...) that gets left behind at gigs after everyone else has gone home, but I'd never knowingly nick someone else's gear. But what is "legitimate" plunder, and what is theft? My best decking trolley for the first 2 years of working in staging came into my possession from outside a police station. I'd just broken the sack trolley we'd been moving the PA with and so was desperately trying to buy an alternative when I spotted it. A policeman actually came out while I was working out if I could liberate it, but all he did was ask if I needed a hand :tearshair: Still got that trolley :tearshair:


I do put stuff on our dry hire quotes etc saying that people are responsible for the gear while it's away, but I've never been able to get any clients to pay for replacing things lost from jobs we are doing for them if we are on site for most of it - does anyone know the law on this matter?

sorry if that was a bit rambling, I'm waiting the rain out :lol:
I'm inclined to believe Withnail is right... what we need is harmony... fresh air.. stuff like that

#2 User is offline   torch1972 

  • Regular
  • Pip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 133
  • Joined: 22-May 07
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:07 PM

At my last place of work (a college). We had a beauty parlour under the downstage and dressing room area. (I know don't ask) Anyway there was a stair well that went from the beauty parlour up to stage level then up to the dressing rooms. During a Technical rehearsal day with the full company. Someone walked up from the beauty parlour level to stage level in to the sound and lighting store took to new pair of large wedge speakers. Walked back down stairs in to a car and drove away. We had not had them long felt sick for ages afterwards. The CCTV was not in the right place and insurance did cover it.

While I was at Uni, two people in boiler suits with a step ladder, walked into the students bar (while it was open and busy) took down the LCD projector and it was never seen again. (That takes balls)

#3 User is offline   Stuart91 

  • Master of Contingency
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 2,817
  • Joined: 24-March 06
  • Gender:Male

Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:59 PM

My story:

Last week we bought a job lot of cable from an Edinburgh-based hire firm that recently ceased trading. Sorting through it, I found FOUR of our own cables - complete with our labels etc. on them. The thing is, I have no idea how they could have wound up back with them - they may even have gone via a third party sometime.

#4 User is offline   Jram 

  • Part-timer
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 230
  • Joined: 01-March 05
  • Location:Glasgow, home of the kiss

Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:05 PM

View Posttorch1972, on 3 Jun 2008, 5:07 PM, said:

While I was at Uni, two people in boiler suits with a step ladder, walked into the students bar (while it was open and busy) took down the LCD projector and it was never seen again. (That takes balls)

The place I studied famously had a grand piano stolen by two guys who 'took it away for tuning' - not only did the security guys not question them, they unlocked the loading door for them and watched them take it....

On a personal levl, I've lost remarkably few tools so far (touch wood, they're all in a venue at present...) but have gained some stuff - that was off a film set, after all the other departments had left so whatever we found was kept or skipped. More croc clips than I know what to do with, a tarp, extension cable, spirit level, various handtools.

This post has been edited by Jram: 03 June 2008 - 09:09 PM

Adventures in the World of Stand-Up Comedy - Beware of frequent, strong sweary words.

Life is Absurd. Don't Fight It. - Irrational encounters with the modern world.

#5 User is offline   rossmck 

  • Technical Manager
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 852
  • Joined: 04-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow

Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:12 PM

View PostStuart91, on 3 Jun 2008, 7:59 PM, said:

Last week we bought a job lot of cable from an Edinburgh-based hire firm that recently ceased trading. Sorting through it, I found FOUR of our own cables - complete with our labels etc. on them. The thing is, I have no idea how they could have wound up back with them - they may even have gone via a third party sometime.


How do you think he ended up with a fair bit of equipment ;)

I know from word of mouth that a fair bit of stuff from that auction ended up in vans other than those who had bought them (sadly none of it in my van ;)) ... even one of the guys there joked that it was in keeping with the spirit of said company :P

I'll miss them though :)

On a more on-topic note all I've ever lost of my own equipment is a maglite and a parcan, I do know someone who lost a whole generator though (was lifted onto the back of a low-loader with amber lights on it by 'loads of guys in high vis jackets' so no-one thought anything of it!)

#6 User is offline   peternewman 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 1,457
  • Joined: 04-December 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London/Near Watford

Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:31 PM

View PostJram, on 3 Jun 2008, 10:05 PM, said:

The place I studied famously had a grand piano stolen by two guys who 'took it away for tuning' - not only did the security guys not question them, they unlocked the loading door for them and watched them take it....
But how much would you do? We regularly used to move kit between our union and arts centre, and various other venues, everything from various flightcases, to large amounts of video kit/computers etc sometimes even in shopping trolleys, and no-one ever batted an eyelid. I can imagine it being frustrating for us and security if they did question us each time.

#7 User is offline   soundo26 

  • Fulltimer
  • PipPipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 335
  • Joined: 13-December 05
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Swindon Area, Wiltshire

Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:53 PM

A few years ago I was working at the Royal Lancaster Hotel and couldn't empty my car of kit at the time. I parked it in the rooftop car park of the hotel under the watchful eye of the security cameras and directly outside the security office. I came out an hour later to get some tools out of the car (an estate) and found that someone had smashed the rear window and made off with the entire top layer of bags etc containing just about everything I carried to help with my work and a couple of laptops! To make things worse it was my birthday too!
All this happened in front of the security guys who claimed they didn't see a thing and apparently the Video cameras were not working either.
Needless to say, I never retrieved any of my (very valuable) kit.

Also more recently lost another bag at a conference last year. I try not to take too much kit with me these days but there is still an amount of kit we do need to take on jobs, the main problems happen when we are booked into a different venue to the one where the job is happening, we have to take our bags, laptops including backups & projectors because so many of these venues cannot be made secure and the clients don't provide any rooms to lock kit up in. We can only carry so much between hotels.
I'm a human being, not a human doing!!

#8 User is offline   mikienorth 

  • Journeyman
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 483
  • Joined: 28-August 04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:On tour.

Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:16 PM

View Postsoundo26, on 3 Jun 2008, 10:53 PM, said:

All this happened in front of the security guys who claimed they didn't see a thing and apparently the Video cameras were not working either.
Needless to say, I never retrieved any of my (very valuable) kit.


And who, or whose mates did the nicking?

Some, but by no means all security staff are not the most straight and narrow people.

In my opinion, anything left post idiot check is fair game. If you checked and didn't think to take it, then you don't want it. That's how I got my Flightcase - A cable trunk left behind post idiot check in a rather conspicuous position...
Then, being a resident, if it has your name or your mark on it, and you get in touch, then you'll get it back.
If it is expensive kit, then we'll phone you
If we 'like' your company, we'll phone you

Big massive top marks to DBN Lighting in Manchester. Had a package delivered today with 8 shackles in it, all ours. They had done a gig last week and taken them home by mistake. We hadn't noticed.
How honest and nice of them.

It actually made my day.

#9 User is offline   The Gaffa 

  • Part-timer
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 209
  • Joined: 22-April 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teddington, Middx

Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:37 PM

In the last couple of months from work , 5 laptops, 3 multimedia projectors, 2 Mac G5's, various mobile phones & purses, mostly down to "tutors" leaving rooms unlocked during breaks.

Even with CCTV working & monitored 24/7 there is no grantee that someone will walk in and "help themselves" to property.
To old to rock and roll, To young to die

#10 User is offline   Russ83 

  • Journeyman
  • PipPipPipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 401
  • Joined: 31-December 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bradford, UK

Posted 04 June 2008 - 12:44 AM

At one point last year we started to treat SM57 and 58's as consumable items with at least two disappearing each month :) . They are now all stored in a big metal 'lock box' and we currently still have the same ones we started with in September.

Regarding big 'outside' thefts, back in Nov06 I think the total was about 50 Dell laptops (plus 2 wheely bins that they carried them off in) and then on the final visit they came over the roof of the school, made a hole in the outside brick wall of my office and took 3 professional DV cameras, a couple of small handycams, 2 projectors and the radio mic sets.
Despite everything having the school name and post code etched into it with UV security marking and SMART water and all serial numbers logged, nothing was ever found.

#11 User is offline   b1nuzz 

  • Part-timer
  • PipPip
  • Group: Classifieds Approved
  • Posts: 239
  • Joined: 22-October 05
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bristol, UK

Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:08 AM

Last year at one of the festivals we were doing, we had a 20mx 20m BWS stolen. (and it was still hung up, so they had to take to ake it down to steal it)
We also had a Mac 500 stolen from the stage in the middle of the gig. It was on the floor behind the backline, then, it went off. The dimmer man went to investigate, it was gone.

Good Job!
-----------------
Ben Knowles
Utopium Lighting Ltd
www.utopium.co.uk

#12 User is offline   Grahame 

  • Part-timer
  • PipPip
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 275
  • Joined: 06-January 04
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Glasgow, Scotland

Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:29 AM

View PostStuart91, on 3 Jun 2008, 7:59 PM, said:

The thing is, I have no idea how they could have wound up back with them - they may even have gone via a third party sometime.

My classic tale of things turning up in the most unexpected place - Many years ago I took Scottish Ballet on a Russian tour and the first gig was the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg where, surprisingly, they had started using some western kit, including some Strand lanterns FOH and on LX1 (those also had a wonderful home-made automation system involving bits of Meccano, telephone dials and joysticks!). Anyway, we were touring our own rig but due to the vast depth of the stage we had to supplement the washes with their stuff. Towards the end of the fit-up I called in the most upstage lighting bridge so that we could slap some colour in it, and we were very surprised to see a pair of parcans on each end with 'Playlight' stencils on them. Even more surprising was that they were connected using two series splitters with the our logo on them! No idea how they got there; our best theory was that the path had gone something like SB > Scot Opera via Glasgow Theatre Royal (shared 'home' venue); SO > Royal Opera via a Covent Garden gala; RO > Mariinsky via a tour.
I didn't have the heart to take them back after such an interesting journey! :)

#13 User is offline   Stuart91 

  • Master of Contingency
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 2,817
  • Joined: 24-March 06
  • Gender:Male

Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:49 AM

View PostGrahame, on 4 Jun 2008, 9:29 AM, said:

our best theory was that the path had gone something like SB > Scot Opera via Glasgow Theatre Royal (shared 'home' venue); SO > Royal Opera via a Covent Garden gala; RO > Mariinsky via a tour.


That more than beats my story - well done!

Russ83 said:

At one point last year we started to treat SM57 and 58's as consumable items with at least two disappearing each month .


We've taken to engraving all our mics. The Dremel to do the job cost as much as one replacement SM58 would so I figure it's worth it.

I know that it won't stop a hardcore thief from taking them, but it would at least prevent them accidentially joining other people's stock.

#14 User is offline   MarkPAman 

  • Occasional Thinker
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 2,809
  • Joined: 20-January 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Somewhere between Chichester and Portsmouth. UK

Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:02 AM

Some of our students took a small PA out to do a gig a couple of weeks ago. They took 3 SM58s with them, and returned with 5! The exta ones look brand new. Now, the venue has no PA at all & there were no other bands on the bill. I'm pretty sure none of that group own their own mics. I'm still waiting for somebody to clame them, but as time goes on it's looking incresingly like they're mine. :)

We tend to not have that much stuff nicked here, though we do go through a lot of leads of all types. We've had turntables taken in the past, and obviously the odd mic will walk, as will any good cymbals we're stupid enough to leave on drum kits.
MarkPAman"Somtimes I sits and thinks...............and sometimes I just sits"

#15 User is offline   LJ 

  • Casual
  • Group: Regular Members
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 08-April 08
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:birmingham

Posted 04 June 2008 - 10:06 AM

wow, somehow my pallet truck doesn't seem like such a huge loss ;)

I forgot one - when we were starting up we went through a difficult patch and ended up storing some kit in a garden shed - which was unsecured. One day we realised we'd lost half a JBL PA system - one top, one bass unit. :P I felt like leaving a sign saying "what you have stolen is useless, why not take the whole thing if you are taking anything?"


It must be hard for security to know who is official and who is not, quite often we'll work on jobs that have 10+ contractors, and not all of them are swagged up with company gear, so if people come in looking vaguely official and not shifty, I guess they will not get noticed. What mikienorth said about the security staff is often true, sadly :( but while I might be cross about the Ally Pally losses (I'm guessing it was one of the many catering contractors who "borrowed" our truck), I cannot fault their security as a whole - we left 2 Bosch battery chargers and batteries plugged into the wall ;) and didn't realise for a couple of days - I rang them to ask them to check for them, and they rang back the next day having found them, and packed them up for a courier collection, no problem.

A concurrent post has been automatically merged from this point on.

View PostMarkPAman, on 4 Jun 2008, 10:02 AM, said:

Some of our students took a small PA out to do a gig a couple of weeks ago. They took 3 SM58s with them, and returned with 5! The exta ones look brand new. Now, the venue has no PA at all & there were no other bands on the bill. I'm pretty sure none of that group own their own mics. I'm still waiting for somebody to clame them, but as time goes on it's looking incresingly like they're mine. :)


I have no idea where that gig was, but the two spare ones are mine, obviously... ;)


I think the most nicked thing we have ever experienced is the styluses (styli??) from decks. DJs suck. I've even caught them in the act, and they seem to think it's a perk of the job :)
I'm inclined to believe Withnail is right... what we need is harmony... fresh air.. stuff like that

Share this topic:


  • 4 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic