NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Only in Music City would a musician don his detective hat and help solve his own crime.
But that’s what happened recently to Phillip Benefield, a drummer, whose expensive drum kit was stolen.
“If you are going to steal musical instruments, don’t do it in Music City, USA. We all care about each other. We’re a big family,” Benefield said.
He has been playing drums since he was five years old, and has played with Trace Adkins and other groups in Nashville, says his drums were special.
“I have a one-of-a-kind, pork pie, custom-made kit of drums, got them in 2002. My pride and joy,” Benefield told News 2.
He says he went to work on March 16 and his neighbors watched some men come to his apartment and take his utility trailer.
Benefield said it’s a black Homesteader trailer with a ramp door. The driver’s side fender is missing. Inside were his drum kit, worth close to $6,000, and expensive electronics.
“Naturally, I freaked a little bit, [but] I stayed calm,” he said.
The musician called police and then, like a drumming detective, played a hunch and called an area music shop.
“And they said, ‘Yeah, your drums are right here.’ It was like winning the lottery,” Benefield explained.
After proving the drums were his, the music shop gave them back. The shop reportedly paid just a few hundred dollars for the kit.
According to Benefield, the music shop did some good detective work, too, taking a photo of the man who sold the drums.
The music store employees even took a picture of the white pickup truck the man allegedly drove.
“I’m not going to be a victim. We have to do what we can to stay alive out here. Nobody is going to give us a free lunch,” Benefield said.
On March 22, his trailer was found. Metro police told Benefield a man had purchased it, not knowing it was stolen.
Benefield told News 2 the only thing left missing is his “stick bag,” which reportedly contained $3,000 worth of electronics and ear buds.
Metro police also said warrants for a possible suspect or suspects are likely in the near future.
Anyone who recognizes the man in the photo is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.