Kona musician searching for stolen violins - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kona musician searching for stolen violins

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A musician from Kona is heartbroken by the theft of two beloved violins. They disappeared as she was packing up after a gig at an Oahu jazz club.

Joanie Collins shares her music with audiences around the world, but now her white five-string electric violin and her prized classical violin are gone. The classical one is more than 100 years old and was a childhood gift from her mother.

"It's like my baby, and then my electric violin, that's the one I work with. That's the work horse. That's my money maker," said Collins.

Collins and another musician played a gig at Jazz Minds on Kapiolani Boulevard on Monday night. They loaded their gear into a van parked right outside the door. Both thought the van's doors were locked and they went back inside to say goodbye. When they walked out several minutes later, Collins noticed the vehicle's side door wasn't properly closed.

"I was reaching for my phone and calling 911 before I even opened the door, and sure enough, there was no violins," said Collins.

Also taken in the theft, a black five-string electric bass that Collins had just borrowed that day, along with an amp, various cords, a camera and a cell phone. Collins has checked dumpsters, alleys and pawn shops.

"It was not even shocking, it was just like a blow to the very center of my being," Collins said.

Collins was supposed to play at a fundraiser on Sunday, and despite this painful setback she refuses to be silenced.

"I still have hands and I still have the ability to play. They couldn't take that away from me. So it's just a matter of getting instruments into my hands," Collins said.

The two violins were in a red double case. Collins is offering a $500 reward to have them returned to Jazz Minds, no questions asked.