“Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear bike helmets,” declared Potrero Hill live music venue Bottom of the Hill, after a good samaritan on a bike somehow prevented hammer-wielding thieves from stealing the gear from a band’s touring van.
It is an all-too-common Bay Area occurrence that performers get gear stolen from their vans, or even the whole van full of gear gets stolen. And it appears one of those things was about to happen to a Minneapolis-based band called Yam Haus, this past Saturday, hours before they were set to play a show at Bottom of the Hill.
Two ski-masked suspects wielding hammers approached the van, and were seen peering into the windows. But SFGate reports that an anonymous bicyclist somehow scared off the thieves, and now the venue is offering a reward of tickets and more to whomever this mystery bicycle hero may have been.
Bottom of the Hill tells the tale in a Monday Facebook post, structured like an old-time Craigslist “Missed Connections” ad:
Us: SF rock venue with touring band van parked out front on Saturday, November 4, still daylight hours (fortunately the van was already emptied of gear)
Bad guys: saw Sprinter van full of instruments at a stop on the band's drive to our gig from another, and attached an air tracker to their van, which the band was alerted to by their phones. They were basically followed to our venue by thieves!
You: Riding by on your bicycle and had the courage to approach a trio of guys in ski masks with hammers intending to do harm to that van. You ran them off!
Us again: grateful for someone who cared enough to stop and help! Can we buy you a ticket to a show? We saw the security footage but couldn't make you out at all!
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear bike helmets which I guess could protect them from hammers?!
Thank you to our unknown helper.
Bottom of the Hill adds in a subsequent Tuesday comment: “Update! Sharky from Bandago says that’s one of his vans, actually! So he’ll sweeten the reward pot!!” (“Sharky” refers to SF Homeless Oversight Commission member and Creeper Lagoon frontman Sharky Laguana, Bandago refers to his van rental service.)
If anyone knows, DM me, and I’ll forward their info to Lynn at BoTH (and add a few thank you 🎁 myself) pic.twitter.com/QjnbSbSYFc— Sharky Laguana (@Sharkyl) November 7, 2023
Per SFGate, there’s a little more to this story. Members of Yam Haus reported getting AirTag alerts throughout Saturday, which they blew off. Their band’s photographer saw “a gold-colored car” from which the suspects approached the van carrying hammers. But the bike rider came along, and the photographer “heard an impact” and a yelp from one of the masked men. The suspects retreated back to their vehicle, and the bike rider simply kept pedaling along.
This could have ended worse for the band Yam Haus, in fact, it has before. As SFGate adds, “The last time Yam Haus performed in the Bay Area, somebody stole their belongings from their van.”
Image: Kevin K. via Yelp