Imagine rolling up the doors on a set of storage trailers and seeing more than 70 drums, multiple sets of cymbals, amplifiers, drum stands and just for good measure, enough mechanic tools to start a car repair shop.
Well, the Tarrant Regional Auto Crimes Task Force won't be starting a band anytime soon but investigators are hoping to find the rightful owner of the stolen musical instruments and tools.
According to Arlington police detective Jesse Minton, a task force member, the three trailers they found in the backyard of a home in Fort Worth had other odd items like signage stolen from a local restaurant and U-haul dollies. But the amount of music equipment they discovered was a rare find for an auto task force.
"This happens in a lot of our cases – we unpack these trailers with a lot of numerous things and we don't necessarily know who owns them," said Minton. "A lot of these things, we have don't have names, no initials; we're just trying to find out if we can match it up to an offense report."
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The trailers were recovered in the 1900 block of East Myrtle Street in Fort Worth on Dec. 20. Two of the trailers have been returned to their rightful owner. The third trailer was not reported stolen but the owner told police he was not sure how the items ended up inside the trailer.
Minton said a person of interest in the case is saying he purchased the trailers and the items found inside from the app Offer Up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
"We do have a person of interest we've been talking with," said Minton. "We're trying to see if we can get any outside information as to who would be missing some of this property."
The task force was launched in 1993 when auto thefts were at record highs. It includes members from Arlington, Hurst, Euless, Haltom City police departments, along with members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, National Auto Insurance Crime Bureau, and the Parker County and Tarrant County sheriff's offices. Since the early 1090s auto thefts and car beak-ins have tapered off.
Finding the owner of the musical equipment has been a bit of a task.
"We've received calls from all over the United States that have pretty much been asking about these items, but so far none of them have been a match," said Minton.
To claim the items must contact the task force and be able to provide proof of ownership. Then the owner has a hearing with the Tarrant County justice of the peace to regain ownership of the items.
Minton said the verification process is simpler than it sounds.
"It does require some investigation, but it's surprising how often someone comes in and can describer something," said Minton. "They'll say hey, 'I wrote my initials in this spot or I have a picture of me with with the drum set,' and you can see that it's the same."
Minton said anyone with information regarding the items or who might believe that they are the owner can contact detectives at 817-560-6560.