Detective helps musician recover stolen violin and viola
Musician Kevin Craven didn't think he would ever see his valuable violin and viola again after thieves took them from his car in Kakaako a little more than a week ago.
But he had his treasured instruments in his arms Sunday after a private detective tracked them down.
"He's very fortunate," said Terry Pennington, president of Goodenow Associates Inc. "Statistically, the recovery rate is very, very low for theft cases."
"It was a total surprise, but a good one," Craven said.
On Aug. 12, Craven parked his car at Keawe and Halekauwila streets to head to the Yellow Brick Studio where he handled sound for the production "Sylvia."
Craven was in a rush and had decided to leave his instruments in his vehicle -- for the first time ever -- because it was raining. Sometime after midnight, Craven discovered two of his car doors were unlocked before he noticed that his instruments were stolen.
Following the advice of a private investigator, he and his mother posted fliers in the area where his car was parked. The fliers stated that a reward would be offered with no questions asked if the instruments were returned.
On Saturday, Pennington received a call from a man who said he saw the instruments and that he could get them to him. Both arranged a time and place to meet the following day to exchange the instruments, bows and cases for the reward.
The thief or thieves either live, work or frequented the area, Pennington said.
"If it wasn't a targeted crime, it was a target of opportunity. It made sense to go back and saturate the area with those fliers," he said.
Craven's good fortune is a direct result of he and his mother making efforts to contact the media and going back the site to post fliers, Pennington said.
Craven said his violin suffered some heat damage to the varnish, but the viola is in good condition.
"I'm not going to leave them in the car anymore," he said.