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Band-aid for a band brother

Band-aid for a band brother

By Sherri Coner

Even when there’s no gig or jam session, members of Heartstone Crossing show up for each other.

“This band is really family. We support each other, love one another,” said keyboardist and former Greenwood resident, Bill Roberts of Knightstown, Ind.

Bass player John DeLuca, formerly of Greenwood who now resides in Westfield, Ind., added, “There’s no drama and no ego.”

An unexpected loss

But when Todd Mitchell, the band’s drummer and vocalist lost his livelihood in less than five minutes, news traveled fast among the tight-knit group of music makers.

On that wintery morning, Mitchell was sipping coffee and looking out the window of his Irvington home when an unknown truck pulled up to his driveway.

Before Mitchell had a chance to wonder if it was a suspicious action rather than an innocent turnaround, a man hopped out of the unknown truck with bolt cutters, popped the lock on Mitchell’s work trailer and drove away with the trailer, which was filled with Mitchell’s landscape equipment.

Heartstone drummer/vocalist, Todd Mitchell of Irvington, warms up before the band entertains the crowd for a private party at Greenwood VFW. (Submitted photo)

“He did all of it in less than four minutes,” Mitchell said. “I can’t even hitch the trailer to my own truck that fast. They were pros.”

Mitchell tried to view the thievery as a headache. After all, the homeowner policy would cover replacing a lot of what was gone.

More disappointing news

But the situation was nowhere close to being a temporary irritation.

“None of it was covered,” Mitchell said of the shoe-drop moment when the experience turned bleak. “Maybe everyone knows that except me. Anyway, always ask questions and always read that fine print on a policy.”

What made matters even worse was the one splurge Mitchell had finally made after more than two decades of sweating in the sun … that one splurge was inside his stolen trailer.

“After using my old mowers for years, I thought, ‘I’m gonna treat myself. I’m getting a brand-new mower,” he said. “And now, somebody is cutting their lawn with my brand-new riding mower.”

Keyboard, Bill Roberts of Knightstown,
Ind.; guitar/vocals, Ted Mau of Indianapolis; former band member, Tim Hoff of Knoxville, Tenn.; lead vocalist/keyboard, Kat Fettig of Fishers, Ind.; bass player, John DeLuca of Westfield, Ind.; drummer/vocals, Todd Mitchell of Irvington. (Photo by Greg Kicinski)

When fellow band members heard the news, they immediately did what do-gooders do.

They got busy making plans to help Mitchell.

A concert with a cause

Later this month, Heartstone Crossing will host a fundraiser for their favorite drummer.

The public is invited to enjoy the sounds of this popular classic rock band, performing from 8 to 11 p.m. on May 19 at the Greenwood VFW.

Along with a suggested $10 donation at the door, lead vocalist and keyboardist Kat Fettig of Fishers, Ind. mentioned additional landscape equipment buying activities such as a 50-50 raffle and a silent auction offering unique prizes for bids, such as a month of free voice and piano instruction, a photography session package, an overnight couple’s date with hotel accommodations and a lot more.

“We’re hoping to at least help Todd recoup some of what he lost,” DeLuca said.

Drummer/vocals, Todd Mitchell (Photo by Greg Kicinski)

Until he reported the crime to police, Mitchell was unaware that thefts like this are rampant. Most often, mowers are stolen during daytime hours.

Police now suggest that landscapers like Mitchell and homeowners invest in GPS tracking systems for riding mowers.

“I might even put a tracking device on my drum set,” Mitchell said.

Ways to prevent mowing equipment theft:

  • Never leave push or riding mowers unattended at worksites or residences.
  • Use etching tools or a steel punch to engrave an owner-applied number or code in two locations, one that is obvious and another that is hidden on equipment.
  • Customize equipment with a unique paint color or sticker. This makes your property less attractive to thieves.
  • Always photograph your equipment.
  • Keep equipment purchase receipts.
  • Record any markings or dents in case you’re asked to identify your mower.
  • If you’re leaving a work area for lunch or going inside your home, never leave the keys with your mower and consider securing the mower to a tree or post with a heavy-duty chain looped through a hole in the wheel or around the axle.

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