I'm inspired to start this thread because of 2 local incidents with musicians I know who had their equipment stolen in the last few weeks. In one incident, the person packed up their stuff and put it in the back of their Suburban and went home. Being tired, left his stuff in the back. He lives in a very nice neighborhood. He was followed home from the venue, and they broke into his car getting a 2K pedal steel, 72 Telecaster and his amp. Came out in the morning and everything was gone. The other guy fell asleep not wanting to drive drunk, and they simply opened his door and took his bass. Now, I personally wouldn't do these things, but I did want to start a larger conversation about caring for your gear and what you do with it after shows. The thing that bothers me the most is after gigs. I always take my stuff out to my car after and put it away. But, I feel like that is the time it's most vulnerable. If the gig is close to home, I'll just run it home and come back, but that's not always an option. And a lot of the crowd that came to see us are close family and friends and I wan't to hang out with them and I don't always want to bail, but I'm paranoid about leaving stuff in the car while I stay inside. Short of only hanging out in the parking lot after, I don't know what to do otherwise. Even places that have equipment rooms not in the public's view scares me, there are probably inside jobs going on all the time. I know there is no fool proof method to avoid ever having your gear stolen, but here are some things you can do to prevent theft: Before the gig, don't leave your car or parking lot until it's time to load in. Put your stuff in your car right after. Carry pepper spray or similar just in in case. During shows, I stay near my equipment. I'll schmooze after. It only takes a second to unhook a micro amp and run off with it, especially if the stage is near the door, as it sometimes is. I'm not so worried about a guy running off with my 70lb cab. Anybody who has gigged enough knows that creepy loner dude who kinda hangs out in your general area. I don't think you can be too careful. Gig with crappy gear. I personally don't like this idea, but it's a precaution. I bought my nice instruments and cabs to use them, not collect dust. I could always gig with my bastard 4x10 I got for $100 and beater bass, but I don't want to. I'm not a pro and don't make mass money off my gigs, insurance on my instruments is too expensive for what it is worth, IMO. Be able to make one trip in and one trip out - then you don't have to rely on someone else to watch your gear while you leave and come back. Be aware in the parking lot, look for anything or anyone suspicious. I'm not sure you can do much else, if if there are any other ideas, please post them.