The Word Alive’s Telle Smith Addresses Confusion Over How Band Recovered Stolen Gear
On Monday (Nov. 29), Smith shared an account (including photos) of how the group affably approached and bartered with the alleged culprits for the return of their musical equipment after it was stolen in Michigan.
Using an AirTag tracking device — the same way indie rockers Citizen recently retrieved a stolen van and trailer — The Word Alive located their stolen gear themselves. The Fearless Records rockers then arranged a trade with the purported thieves, giving them "weed, some whiskey and $20 as a peace offering," Smith explained on Monday, for handing over their stuff.
Fielding reported criticism about how they retrieved the gear and their seeming friendliness with the apparent perpetrators, Smith revealed on Tuesday (Nov. 30) that the group had notified police of the situation, but he said that officers never arrived. So the band improvised.
Smith said, "To anybody confused: Yes, we called cops; no, they didn't care, nor did they come. We had to leave out of state to continue tour. We knew approaching them non-aggressively was smarter. We tried to make the most of a bad situation in hopes of getting our belongings and staying safe."
He added that the alleged thieves "aren't our friends, they thought we were by the end and wanted a photo. Knew this would be one of the most ridiculous stories ever, but shit. Glad we handled our own shit and everyone got out safely, that's all I care about."
With technology available to touring artists to allow this kind of resolution, it seems a more nuanced approach to retrieving stolen gear is now an option. "Thank god @Philthelightguy had air tags," Smith said on Monday.