A band that played Lollapalooza hopes it won't be taken the wrong way, but they plan to send five dozen doughnuts to the detectives who helped recover about $80,000 worth of instruments and equipment stolen the day after the festival.
The band, Portugal. The Man, plans to send along some of its CDs too.
"Don't be offended when we send a pile of doughnuts over," the band posted on Facebook this morning. "We are understanding in its simplicity. It's like a marathon runner eating a stack of pancakes before the run. It is much needed energy in your long days of crime-solving and we appreciate this because, well, doughnuts are delicious and sending cupcakes is a little to mamby-pamby for the sissys you most certainly are not. All respect."
The band posted the note after Juan Ocampo, 39, was charged with felony theft. Ocampo was ordered held on $10,000 bail Tueday. Police say they found the missing equipment at his apartment late last week in the 4800 block of South Throop Street and he was arrested Monday.
The band reported that its Ford van and trailer, with all their equipment, was stolen between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Aug. 8 from a South Loop parking lot.
Zach Carothers, the band’s bass player, was at a nearby hotel with other band members when their tour manager walked over to the parking lot to retrieve the van. The manager, Ian Shaw, who is flying to Chicago on Wednesday to deal with the equipment, called Carothers to ask him if he might have moved the van.
Carothers said he hadn’t, and the ensuing minutes were a frenzy of calling everyone in the band to make sure they hadn’t moved it, calling towing companies and trying to figure out if someone might have relocated the van because it was parked incorrectly.
“We thought we had gotten towed,” Carothers said. But “We usually get tickets or a boot,” when the band parks illegally—it’s rare that they actually get towed.
The van and trailer were found later the same day, but the equipment was gone.
Missing were items including eight guitars, an electric organ, an electric piano, musical pedals, drums, speakers and microphones, an iPod and a banjo, according to a list released by the band.
After the festival, band member John Gourley flew home to Portland. He got a call the next morning after the theft was discovered.
Gourley and the other band members started thinking about what really needed replacing —and what they could do without. “Being robbed is a really great way of editing your belongings,” Gourley said.
The band reported the theft on its Facebook and Twitter pages, and asked for help from fans, who went around the city, giving lists of the equipment to pawn and music shops. One thing or another led to police getting a tip that some equipment had been seen getting loaded into a house from a rental truck, and police were able to track down the gear, Carothers said.
Ocampo told police he bought the equipment for $1,000 after meeting a man at the Swap-0-Rama flea market in the 4000 block of South Ashland Avenue on Aug. 9.
Gourley and Carothers said they have been heartned by the response of Chicagoans to the theft.
“We’re going to do something nice at our next Chicago show,” Carothers said. “I wish could come and cook everybody dinner who did something on this, but we’ll do something.”
When Gourley got a call from the band’s tour manager that police had located the equipment, he was amazed.
“I didn’t even get excited. I just sat there and said, 'That’s cool,' and hung up the phone,” Gourley said.
Finding as much of the equipment as they did is “Pretty amazing--you never, never hear of any of our friends in bands recovering their gear.”
The band plans to send detectives the doughnuts to their West Side headquarters on Wednesday. “We’re a rock band, of course we’re sending doughnuts,” Gourley said.
A police spokesman said that that accepting the doughnuts should not be a violation of departmental policy.
Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributedCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun