EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - Under the stage name Mark Andrew, Mark Pudas gained national and international attention as a contestant on American Idol and The Voice. But now, a recent crime threatened to silence the singer best known for his soulful sound.
On July 21, Pudas parked his SUV in the driveway of his parent’s house in Eden Prairie after playing a local gig. When he came out the next morning the vehicle, as well as his guitar, speaker system and the rest of his equipment inside, was gone.
"There was a lot of shock," he said. "At first, I was trying to figure out if I just had a lapse in memory. But that wasn't the case. Then I saw certain possessions strewn across the ground, then I realized it was gone."
When police found the Suburban in Minneapolis about a week later, the tires had been slashed and the windshield had been broken.
Pudas says it was full of stolen items, but unfortunately none of them belonged to him.
"The thing that hurts the most is there was a white song book filled with all the stuff I've written since I was 18," he said. "Some of it has been recorded but the stuff that hasn't... I don't remember most of it."
For now, Pudas has been able to replace some of his equipment so he can continue to play appearances around town.
He says whoever stole his SUV won't permanently pull the plug on his music career.
"More than anything. I want to get back on my feet and play music," he said. "That's who I am and what I love."
He's set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of replacing everything, which he says could total as much as $6,000 after insurance.