Asheville-based GearTrack recovers stolen instruments

Working musicians have enough of a struggle without worrying about losing their instruments and equipment to theft. And yet, that happens all too often. In response to the theft of a special banjo, sisters-in-law Molly Nagel-Driessen and Bridget Driessen launched GearTrack, “an online musical instrument registry, organizational tool, exchange and communication platform for musicians of all ages, skill levels, styles of instruments and levels of technological proficiency.”

According to a press release, Vancouver, Wash. musicians Rocky and Deb Blakewood had two valuable mandolins stolen. The instruments were recovered and returned as a result of the couple’s GearTrack registry. “After his home was burglarized Blakewood filed a police report, then canvassed Craigslist and local pawn shops. He then turned to the Internet and found GearTrack, where he registered his stolen mandolins, a Givens bought for his wife and a prized Lyon & Healy. After a month of quiet searching, Blakewood was surprised by contact from GearTrack and members of the respected musicians’ forum, Mandolin Cafe. A user there had purchased the Givens from a local pawn shop and asked the forum about its value. Another member thought to check GearTrack and noticed the Givens had been flagged as ‘Stolen.’ The pawn shop and buyer agreed to return the mandolins.”

More info: “Through advance registration, GearTrack users can catalog and organize instruments securely in the cloud. Victims of theft can tag gear as “stolen” and benefit from Facebook and Twitter blasts and email newsletters that reach a concerned community of 4000 folks (and growing). The site is free for stolen items and up to 5 listings. GearTrack founders hope that through the participation of instrument owners everywhere the site will be a primary tool for instrument buyers, resellers, pawn shops and law enforcement.”


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