Casey Donahew Band's Foolproof Anti-Theft System

Categories: Playbill, Texas Me

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Photo courtesy of Splash Publicity
Plenty of Texas country bands sing about people on the wrong side of the law, a tradition that goes back at least as far as Willie and Waylon. But recently the Casey Donahew Band did their peers one better when several members foiled the attempted theft of one of them's expensive ice chest - and went right on to play their gig in front of a screaming audience that included several of the perpetrator's friends as the cops were hauling him off to jail.

The scene was a show in Wichita Falls about six weeks ago. According to Donahew, he and bassist Steve Stone had spent the day at his ranch outside Fort Worth and driven up in Stone's truck to meet the rest of the band at the venue. When it was getting close to showtime, they walked out of their tour bus to notice someone had pulled another pickup halfway into the parking spot next to Stone and was attempting to make off with the Yeti cooler strapped into the back.

"We walk out of the bus and if it had been 15 minutes earlier or 15 minutes later, or 15 seconds, we'd have missed it all," says Donahew, whose band is known for songs like"Double Wide Dream," "Whiskey Baby" and "Stockyards."

"It took me a second to process what was going on," he adds. "He had cut the straps off there and unbolted it, and was already placing the Yeti in the back of his truck. I was just like, 'They're stealing our Yeti!'"

The cooler in question runs about $300 and will hold 20 cans of beer and 28 lbs. of ice, and Donahew says Stone wasn't about to give it up without a fight. After noticing Donahew, Stone, keyboardist A.C. Copeland and the band's tour manager "Weezy" headed his way, Donahew says the would-be thief freaked out, threw the Yeti back into Stone's truck and froze behind his own, which had both the front passenger seat and back seat full. Then, Donahew recalls, Stone managed to reach into their adversary's truck and snatch the keys from the ignition and put them in his pockets.

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"So then I'm thinking, 'OK, this is about to get real serious real fast," Donahew says. "We were about to be in an all-out war. This guy runs around, realizes Steve had his keys and runs back to the back. Steve is already squared up. He tells this kid [no more than 20, according to Donahew], 'Take one more step, I'm going to put you to sleep right here.'

"The guy was like, 'I wasn't stealing it,'" continues Donahew. "Well...yes you were."

At this point, the singer says the bar's security had noticed what was happening outside and had radioed the cops.

"I think the kid tried to plead his case a little bit, and he came to the realization that it wasn't gonna go good for him," Donahew allows. "He went and sat in his truck, and Steve still had his keys, and the people with him in his car piled out of the car and went inside for the show. Left him out there all alone."


Story continues on the next page.


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