JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kevin Craven gives 9-year-old Mickey Graue a lesson in his Kaneohe home. Craven is playing a leased instrument now but longs for his violin that was stolen over the weekend.
Musician stunned by theft of violin, viola
The costly instruments were taken Saturday from a car in Kakaako
It was like a piece of himself had been ripped out when thieves stole Kevin Craven's valuable string instruments over the weekend, the musician says.
Craven's violin and viola were stolen from his red Mazda Protege parked at Keawe and Halekauwila streets sometime between 7 p.m. and midnight Saturday.
"When you play an instrument, it becomes a part of you," Craven said. "It's my life. ... It's a huge inconvenience."
Craven, 32, said he had just finished teaching violin and viola lessons at the Aloha Music School at University Square and was heading to the Yellow Brick Studio, where he handled sound for the production "Sylvia," which was in the last weekend of a five-week run.
Craven was in a rush and decided to leave his instruments in his vehicle because it was raining. Normally he does not leave them in his car. "I thought it would be OK, I just thought just this once, leave them there in my car," he said.
Craven said he placed his viola in the trunk and his violin in the back seat of his car.
After the play ended, Craven and other crew members stuck around to rehearse a parody of the play that they planned to perform the following day.
After they wrapped up, sometime after midnight, Craven noticed the driver's side and one of the rear doors were unlocked. "It was really strange because I never leave my doors unlocked," he said.
When Craven entered his vehicle, he noticed the smell of cigarette smoke. "That's when I looked around and my instruments were not there," he said.
"I was freaking out. My heart was racing," Craven said.
Craven headed home to Kaneohe. The next morning, he discovered that a small amp and a brand-new video card also were missing from his vehicle. He called police to file a report. Officers inspected the vehicle for fingerprints.
"I've never had anything stolen before. I never had a car broken into," said Craven, born and raised in Kaimuki.
Craven uses his instruments not only to teach his students five days a week, but also to perform with his band, Celtic Waves. The band regularly performs at O'Toole's Irish Pub in Chinatown and Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki.
Craven is also a member of Don't Panic, which performs once a month at Coffee Talk.
David Scroggin of Aloha Scroggin Violins leased a violin to Craven so he could continue teaching and performing.
While most violins have a black chin rest, tailpiece and pegs, those parts of Craven's violin are brown. He described the body of the violin as light tan, with a distinctive knot in the wood on the front.
Craven said the body of his viola is 16 inches long. The instrument is dark brown, with a black tailpiece and chin rest.
Both professional-type instruments are insured. The monetary value of the instruments is substantial, he said, requesting that the amount not be published.
It is the emotional attachment that matters, he said. "That's what makes it a painful loss."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the instruments can call Craven at 722-7750.