Keeper of the Plans

‘Weird Al’ and Arlo Guthrie signed one ukulele; thieves take 7 altogether

Bob Colladay’s truck was broken into Sunday. The musician lost seven ukuleles and other equipment.
Bob Colladay’s truck was broken into Sunday. The musician lost seven ukuleles and other equipment. Courtesy

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.

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.

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

Stolen ukuleles

▪ Handmade mahogany tenor with Colladay’s signature in the sound hole (a stylized R).

▪ Goldtone Banjolele Deluxe autographed by “Weird Al” Yankovic, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Arlo Guthrie.

▪ 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.