It was a holiday gig that P.E.I. musician Adam MacGregor won’t soon forget.
Adam MacGregor and the Foes were getting set to play the New Year’s Eve Eve show at the Grand Victorian in Victoria-By-The-Sea on Saturday night.
MacGregor couldn’t find a parking spot when he rolled up to the building, so he left his vehicle in front of the entrance with the keys still in the ignition in case security needed to move it.
MacGregor had just gone in to scope out the place before unloading his gear. When he went back, the car was gone and so was more than $10,000 worth of musical gear, his cellphone and his wallet.
“We thought, well, the car was in the way. I thought maybe the bouncer moved it, no big deal. This was a close-ticketed event, so I’m not expecting there’s going to be any trouble or anything,’’ MacGregor told The Guardian on Tuesday.
Turns out, one of the patrons attending the event was extremely intoxicated and was asked to leave by security, who also called the patron a taxi.
Instead of waiting for the taxi, the man allegedly noticed the keys in the ignition of MacGregor’s car and decided to take it.
The RCMP told MacGregor that the car made it all the way to Stratford before the driver was pulled over for alleged reckless driving and impaired driving.
“We drove all over town (in Victoria-By-The-Sea) wondering if someone pulled a prank on us. We imagined everything you could imagine except what happened. To steal the car from Victoria just seems to be the most ridiculous thing to happen. It’s like the nicest place on earth.’’
Shaken, MacGregor still went on with the show, albeit with no equipment. He borrowed an acoustic guitar from another artist and performed.
MacGregor is still faced with challenges. His car remains in the RCMP impound lot. Luckily, the impound lot is indoors so none of the equipment was harmed by the cold weather. While the car remains locked away, RCMP allowed him to retrieve his personal belongings and equipment.
MacGregor said since November a new law on an impaired charge means an automatic 30-day impound, regardless of who owns the car.
“I got stuck in this loophole where my car got stolen and I’m being penalized for it. He’s the guy that did this, and his car is at home.’’
RCMP did not immediately return a call for comment.
MacGregor can appeal the impounding. It’ll cost him $50 by written letter or $100 in person, which he gets back if the appeal is successful.
He’s also got the daily impound fee to worry about, roughly $20 a day he figures.
And, in the interim he’s thinking about renting a car.
Musician Todd MacLean, who was also a part of the New Year’s Eve Eve gala, said keeping the vehicle locked away is simply unfair to MacGregor.
“It was such an ordeal for Adam,’’ MacLean said. “You get your vehicle stolen, then all the stress of losing the equipment. Now he starts the new year off this way?’’
MacGregor does plan on giving police a statement in hopes of getting restitution from the courts.
Yes, he also plans on locking his car from now on.