Local musician Bob Colladay experienced what felt like “a punch to the gut” when he saw his truck on Sunday.
The passenger-side window had been smashed out and seven ukuleles, as well as his tandem bicycle, had been stolen from the truck, which was parked in a lot at the corner of Douglas and Clifton.
Colladay parked in the lot, which was across the street from a friend’s apartment, around 11 p.m. Saturday. He discovered the damage Sunday afternoon.
Colladay, who said he suffers from “U.A.S.” – “ukulele acquisition syndrome” – is hoping to recover the stolen ukuleles, but knows the chances are slim.
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These aren’t your average ukuleles, either – one was autographed by “Weird Al” Yankovich and Arlo Guthrie, another custom ukulele was won at a ukulele-playing competition, and another was handmade by Colladay.
“I’ve tried to get into the mind of someone who would do this, but it’s hard,” Colladay said. “Honestly, I imagine they didn’t think they were taking ukuleles. They probably thought they were getting violins or something.”
Colladay, who has filed a police report for the theft and alerted local pawn shops, estimates the loss at about $2,700. The thieves also stole microphones, effects pedals, sounds equipment, and a backpack full of camping equipment.
He estimates the seven ukuleles stolen comprise about a quarter of his collection.
Colladay, who is based in Hutchinson, frequently plays ukulele at various Wichita gigs. Last weekend, he taught a ukulele workshop at WoodFest, at Camp Wood YMCA.
In the music world, he’s known as Bobulele.
If you see any of Colladay’s ukuleles, message him on Facebook.
▪ Handmade mahogany tenor with Colladay’s signature in the sound hole (a stylized R).
▪ Bonanza Ukuleles special edition tenor amoeba built for the Ukulele World Congress. Aloha, hula dancer and palm trees engraved on top. UWC 9 special sound hole label inside.
▪ Ohana sopranismo ukulele in gig bag that had a “ukulele pro” merit badge on it.
▪ Pink ukelele in a black hard case, “American Music Pro” brand
▪ Mahogany Baritone ukelele with Bobulele hand written on the headstock, in a nice green hard case. “Phitz” brand.
▪ Epiphone Les Paul Electric ukelele, cherry sunburst, in a gig bag.