Popular KC cover band headlining Jazzoo concert has thousands of dollars worth of gear stolen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's being called a heartless crime involving a metro band.

Superstar Mafia, a popular cover band from Kansas City, had most of its gear and instruments stolen on Easter Sunday. It happened as Superstar Mafia was preparing for one of its biggest shows of the year.

Jerry Bayton said it was an honest mistake. He's Superstar Mafia's drummer. Bayton said it was April 21 when thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment and lighting the band uses was stolen from a car a friend had parked overnight outside Bayton's West Bottoms loft.

Thieves took everything from Bayton's car and used tools to cut into the band's trailer -- where they found even more things to steal.

Bayton said the band had played a concert at a bar in Lenexa the night before. His friend decided to wait until the next morning to unload the gear.

Bayton and other band members said he missed that concert, as he has several recent shows, while he battled a fungal infection. He has also undergone treatment for cancer, having been diagnosed with multiple melanoma in June 2012.

"My 19-year-old son called me, and said, 'Hey Dad, I think somebody broke in your car,' Bayton said, recalling a phone conversation he had while he was hospitalized.

Superstar Mafia is scheduled as the headliners for Jazzoo, the biggest annual fundraiser for the Kansas City Zoo. FOX4 is the media sponsor for that event, during which, several local bands will perform on June 7.

"They cleaned us out for about $8 thousand worth of equipment. They took about 90% of everything we had," Bayton said. "If it's that important to you that you had to have it, we'd let you borrow it."

Bayton, a former Kansas City fire captain, said he'd been robbed in that neighborhood before. His friend was unaware of that trouble when the burglary took place.

He and other members of Superstar Mafia wondered if someone wasn't keeping tabs on their comings and goings to target them for the theft.

"Somebody wants our stuff. I hate saying that because I love living in this area. It's a lot of fun on the weekends," Bayton said.

"It seems very calculated. It's not the first attempt. We've taken precautions in the past, and this time, the timing just really stinks," said Deann Kinsch, one of the band's singers.

That Jazzoo show is six weeks away. Bayton said the band really wants their own gear back by then, but until then, friends in other local bands are loaning items to help them keep playing.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Bayton battle his cancer.

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