Sometimes, your most prized possessions are stolen and you never see them again. And sometimes, your most prized possessions are stolen and they pop up three years later in a glass display case at a Macy’s on the other side of the country. That’s exactly what happened to 23-year-old Oregon metalhead Meshach “Attack” Babcock and his treasured vest, which can be seen enjoying the company of its rightful owner below.
Babcock was given the vest in sixth grade by a friend whose grandfather had worn it in the ’60s, ABC News reports. Over the next eight years, Babcock made the garment his own — writing on it, dyeing it, and sewing on patches for bands like Coroner, Rigor Mortis, Mercyful Fate, and Cannibal Corpse. “My vest was the pioneer of the heavy-metal vests in Oregon City,” Babcock told Rolling Stone. “It’s one of a kind.”
And then, one fateful night in April 2013, tragedy struck. Before performing with his band Maniak at Oregon City High School’s Battle Of The Bands, Babcock took off the vest and threw it in a pile of jackets backstage, and when he went to retrieve it after the show, it was gone. He searched for hours, but to no avail. He was heartbroken.
All hope seemed lost, but three years later, on February 6th, 2016, Babcock received a call from a friend who had spotted an Instagram featuring the infamous vest in a New York City Macy’s, as part of a Ralph Lauren Polo display in Herald Square. “My heart dropped into my stomach,” Babcock told Rolling Stone. “I’m jumping up and down screaming in the bar. The dead giveaway was the Nasty Savage patch and a Misfits patch I sewed inside, because I’m a punk on the inside, and the heavy metal on the outside.” By the time he returned home to investigate further, a friend had already created a Facebook page titled “Macy’s, Give Back Meshach’s Vest,” and the page blew up, accumulating several thousand likes over the course of the next few days.
So does this story have a happy ending? Not yet, but the vest has been taken down from the display, and if Babcock can verify that it belongs to him, it will be returned. “We are aware of Meshach’s claims and are actively working to get to the bottom of this,” a spokesperson from Macy’s has commented. “The vest in question is in a vendor shop, and is not Macy’s property. We have reached out to Meshach via social media and will work with our vendor to assist him. We hope that this gets resolved quickly.” Similarly, Ryan Lally, a spokesperson for Ralph Lauren, says, “The jacket was purchased by our creative team. It was for display, and if he can authenticate ownership, we’ll bring this guy his jacket back. It’s a fashion hero story.”
But Babcock wants more than just his vest. Babcock wants answers. “I want my vest back, but also, it would be wonderful to find out how it made it there and who the culprit was,” he says. “I could have taken a picture with them or let them try it on, but I don’t understand why they had to steal it. I don’t want to press charges, but I just want to know why.”