Thieves steal Knoxville band’s van, $70K worth of gear

Fans donate thousands to help The Black Lillies

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Black Lillies posted a desperate plea to Facebook after their van and trailer were stolen in Houston, Texas early Monday morning.

The Knoxville band said the trailer was stolen from a hotel parking lot near the Houston Airport. “The band’s instruments, gear, merchandise, CDs, vinyl, and much of their clothing were inside. For a band, this means that they have lost their ability to make a living – not just a way to travel,” wrote the Black Lillies.

Five hours after the band asked for help, fans donated over $15,000 to help the band out. Gregory Eagle, a musician in Colorado, even offered to let the band borrow any sound gear they may need and one fan said he would donate his guitar.

More: Donate to The Black Lillies

Gallery: Photos of stolen van, trailer

The band had a show Sunday night in Conroe, Texas. Afterwards, they stayed at a Quality Inn near the Houston airport.

They said they parked their van and trailer in front of the door. According to security footage, a black SUV pulled up around 2:30 am. Someone jumped out of the SUV and within less than two minutes they had managed to break in and drive the van away.

The band was supposed to head home that morning. When they headed out to the parking lot at 6:00 a.m. they discovered the van and trailer was missing.

Among the stolen instruments was front man Cruz Contreras’ iconic guitar. Besides the van and trailer, the Black Lillies said they estimate $70,000 word of gear and merchandise was stolen.

“This is every band’s worst nightmare. The one silver lining is that The Black Lillies have one of the best groups of fans and support systems in the world,” wrote The Black Lillies.

Luckily, the band did have insurance on their van and an instrument policy, however the Black Lillies said the band’s policy does not cover merchandise, members’ personal items and certain gear. “There’s a big gap between what was lost and what will be covered,” said Chyna Brackeen with Attack Monkey productions.

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