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Owner Seeks Return of Beloved Blue Uke – No Questions Asked

It may look like an inexpensive tourist souvenir ukulele to most people, but to the North Berkeley woman from whose car it was stolen, the little blue uke is a family heirloom from her late grandmother. (It's also a small star on YouTube.)

We're used to seeing "Lost Cat" and "Lost Dog" posters on telephone poles around town.

More unusual is the one spotted by Patch recently in the Thousand Oaks neighborhood of North Berkeley, near the Albany border:

"Help! Missing Ukulele – $200 Reward"

According to the poster, Berkeley resident Beryl Baker's beloved blue uke was stolen from her car right before Christmas when it was parked on Miramar Avenue, a one-block street between San Lorenzo and Capistrano avenues.

It's still missing, Baker told Patch, and though it's been a month, she still hopes she'll find it. She said it's not valuable as a musical instrument in itself but that, as explained on her poster, it has sentimental value to her as "a family heirloom" given to her by her grandmother before she died.

She said her grandmother's mother bought it many years ago in Hawaii as a kind tourist-type souvenir. She said she's tried to advertise the reward and reach people who might have seen it – getting the word out with the posted flyer and other ways, including contacting a pawn shop or two – but so far to no avail.

"No questions asked – I just want it's safe return," the flyer says.

Baker has videos of her playing the uke, so those who want to see what it looks like can search for "Beryl Baker Music" on YouTube or Google.

If anyone finds it, she asks them to call 510-418-5075.

Lynn Starrs January 21, 2013 at 04:35 PM
It would be great to have a good picture of it and the make!
Lynn Starrs January 21, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Someone should check into this: http://gryphonstrings.com/instpix/35299/Extra.php
shirley kirsten January 21, 2013 at 05:04 PM
I'll keep an eye out as I frequent that neighborhood. My heart goes out to this woman.. as musical instruments can be as endearing as pets. Some people name them.
Alex Gronke (Editor) January 21, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Good find Lynn! That does appear to be the same type of ukulele Beryl is strumming in this You Tube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCaAU1Sn25k
Beryl Baker January 21, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Hi everyone! (It's Beryl.) Sorry I didn't give a better description--it's a Soprano (small and higher range), 1950s/60s, Harmony ukulele. The link to the pictures above are the exact same model (but not mine--the Harmony label on mine was sorely beaten up and had holes in it--and I had just restrung the highest string, so there was an extra tag of uke string hanging off the top at the time it was taken). Thank you, first of all, to the awesome Patch for putting this up! They were so good to contact me and give me a chance at a bigger audience to appeal to. Lastly, thank you to those who have responded--I miss it a lot and you can find lots of pictures/videos of me with it on the youtube page above. Thank you and best wishes, Beryl
Kathy A. January 21, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Hope this comes to the attention of local ukelele groups, like the Royal Hawaiian Ukelele Band in Berkeley. Best to have experts on the case! It might be worth checking places like the Ashby flea market and local consignment or pawn shops. (I know the shops keep good records of who brings things in.)
Alvin Mabuhay January 22, 2013 at 04:45 AM
So precious was this intrument, that the owner left it in a car during the holiday season, RIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (when cars are targeted for gifts). I hope the owner is re-united with her uke, but hardly high on the list of importance when measured against the enormous losses that others have suffered as a result of theft.
Joshua D. Wise January 22, 2013 at 07:04 AM
When a monkey disappeared from the San Francisco zoo they blamed it on a thief (though the cameras caught nothing). There was just a hole in the old cage. So the zoo quickly named the monkey "Banana Sam" as a propaganda ploy. They promised a reward for whoever returns the monkey, and "no questions asked" A couple days after the monkey disappeared, someone came forward with the monkey saying they found it in a nearby park. Instead of following through with their word, they sicked the cops on the person, asked a lot of questions and withheld the reward. There was zero evidence the monkey had even been taken, let alone that this guy had done it, and they still screwed him. I say, if you find it, keep it. Nobody's going to keep their word. They'll try to pin it on you, and idiots nation wide will post mean things about you online even though you're trying to do the right thing.

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