System Of A Down's Stolen Truck Found In Flames

Vehicle that had contained gear belonging to heavy-metal act and tourmates Fear Factory, Spineshank was empty and burning.

A stolen truck that had held gear for heavy-metal acts System of a Down, Fear

Factory and Spineshank was found ablaze Tuesday morning near the Walt

Whitman Bridge at the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Fear Factory assistant manager Brian Nicholas said the truck was discovered

by firemen responding to a report of a fire early that morning on the New Jersey

side of the bridge.

"It was empty and, except for 15 charred cymbals and half a melted amp,

completely burnt," Nicholas said. "There was a fire reported in back of an empty

warehouse, and the firemen who put the fire out did an investigation and

realized it was the stolen truck."

System of a Down, Fear Factory and Spineshank were forced to postpone 12

dates of their current tour after the truck containing the three bands' instruments

and equipment was stolen Saturday in front of the rockers' hotel in


Fear Factory frontman Burton Bell, 29, said that upon discovering the theft that

slammed their tour to a halt he had laughed at first, thinking it was a joke, but

that the laughter quickly subsided as he realized the truck, with what he

estimated as "several hundred thousand dollars' " worth of equipment, was


"There was broken glass right where the driver's door was," Bell said Monday.

"That's how we live. That's what we do, and someone took it all away from us.

It's like taking a writer's hands away or something. We're all just in shock."

Bell said that the truck was stolen between 9 and 11 Saturday morning while it

was parked in front of the Comfort Inn. He added that it contained gear, light

equipment, props and "everything that makes a show happen."

Sgt. Susan Slawson of the Philadelphia police confirmed that the vehicle, worth

an estimated $50,000, and equipment valued at $250,000 were reported stolen

Saturday. She also confirmed that police are investigating, but have no leads at

this time.

The three L.A.-based bands were about halfway through a 24-date tour that

began in Palo Alto, Calif., and was set to make a complete sweep around the

U.S., with a closing date of Feb. 6 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood,


Prior to the start of the tour, System of a Down singer Serj Tankian, 31, said he

was excited to be heading out in support of their self-titled debut album, which

contains such tracks as


(RealAudio excerpt) and


"P.L.U.C.K." (RealAudio excerpt).

Nicholas said the bands plan to reschedule the postponed tour dates in

mid-March, and that they will have new instruments and equipment in place in

time to play the Feb. 6 gig at the House of Blues.