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Musical Equipment Stolen from Free Methodist Church

An acoustic bass and two amplifiers are among the gear reported taken from the Mesa church's sanctuary.

An acoustic bass and two amplifiers were stolen from the sanctuary of Free Methodist Church during a brazen afternoon heist Monday.

Sometime between 2 and 5:30 p.m. a thief or thieves made off with musician Kim Collins’ equipment, which had been assembled on the sanctuary stage at the church, 1435 Cliff Drive. The sanctuary’s doors are unlocked during business hours and the theft went unnoticed until late afternoon when the staff was preparing for a special Celtic worship service in which Collins had written music for an acoustical band.

Collins filed a report with the Santa Barbara Police Departmentand is asking the public’s help in tracking down the gear.

Among the items taken was a circa 1950s Kay 3/4 Upright/Double Bass Model M-1 with a tan finish. Collins said the instrument has some unique modifications: the original brass tuning keys mounted on matching plates (Tyrollean style) have been replaced by individual nickel-plated tuners mounted on custom-cut wood veneer plates that don’t match the rest of the wood either in color or grain. Also, the back and belly edges have been sanded down and refinished to be level with the binding around the body except in the “C” curves of the bouts where the edges still protrude past the binding. Collins also had mounted an Underwood pickup and a Countryman Isomax condenser mic in the bridge and an endpin had been fashioned from a thick dowel rod and painted black with a standard silver hose clamp around the top to keep it from cracking.

Also taken were a chocolate-brown, French-style Fiberglas bow; a black nylon bass bag; a Clarus II Model 2 acoustic image bass amp; a three-channel Carvin AG100D GT keyboard amp with a 12-inch woofer and a 2-inch horn.

The bass and the bow have sentimental value for Collins, the music director and co-creator of the Santa Barbara Vocal Jazz Foundation and director of VocalPoint, a 12-voice select ensemble that performs concerts and educational programs in schools.

“This instrument has been his lifeblood for over 25 year,” pastor Denny Wayman said of the bass.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Santa Barbara police at 805.569.2677.

“We pray for the people who would steal a musician’s instrument,” Wayman said.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at [email protected]

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