Tiffa Cruz Garza with her missing guitar, an acoustic electric made of koa wood. CLICK FOR LARGE
Stolen guitar irreplaceable
Musician Tiffa Cruz Garza says it was a legacy from her father
An acoustic electric guitar with sentimental value to local musician Tiffa Cruz Garza was stolen from her pickup truck parked at her Aiea Heights home.
"It would mean the whole world to me to get it back," Garza, 23, said yesterday. "I'm just desperate for it."
At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Garza arrived at her home in the 99-1000 block of Kahua Place. She and her band, the Girlas, had performed at the Centennial Welcome-Back Bash at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Campus Center courtyard.
She and her husband, Imua Garza of the band Opihi Pickers, were packing to catch an early flight to Hilo. Garza left her guitar in its case in the cab of her 1999 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
When she headed back to her truck at about 3:30 a.m., Garza noticed the vehicle's rear window pried open and her guitar missing. "I was just crying hysterically," she said.
Garza had gotten the guitar as a gift from her father, well-known musician Ernie Cruz Sr., when she graduated from Hilo High School in 2001.
"It's my father's guitar. It has his fingerprints," Garza said, adding that it is worn on the fret board and on the back of the guitar from years her father played the instrument. "It represents his heart and love for me and for music."
Garza's father had taught her how to play on the instrument in 1993, when she was a teenager. "It's a way of life for me. I use it in all of my gigs. It's been part of my life," she said.
She described it as a Takamine-brand acoustic electric guitar made of koa wood. The guitar is a 1992 special edition with golden-brown tuning pegs. It has a "unique sweet sound that has been cultivated by many years played," Garza said. "Nothing can compare to it."
Police were called about the theft.
Garza said she would not press charges and just wants her guitar returned. A substantial reward, as well as a collection of CDs from Garza and her family members, is being offered for the guitar.
Along with a talented father, brother Ernie Cruz Jr. is part of the Ka'au Crater Boys. Garza's other brothers, Guy and John, have successful solo music careers.
She said other break-ins have occurred in her neighborhood, and her neighbor had stolen from a PT Cruiser over the weekend a medal earned in the military, cleaning supplies and books.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the guitar can call Tiffa Cruz Garza at 258-7242.