One day after stealing an upright bass from local musician Chris Kamaka, thieves apparently had a change of heart. The priceless instrument has been returned and it’s in good shape.

Kamaka’s biggest fear was that even if he did get it back, the bass would be severely damaged. That’s not the case, and he couldn’t be happier.

“Oh yes, good to have her back!” Kamaka said.

The member of the award winning group Hookena got his groove back now that his prized instrument is back in his hands. He says the thieves dropped it off at the Zippy’s in Kalihi this morning and he was contacted soon after.

“I guess the heat was coming down and they were getting scared and they did the right thing,” Kamaka said.

The bass was stolen from Kamaka’s car Thursday morning while it was parked in a garage at Keauhou Place. He says it’s the only one he’s played in the last 30 years because of its unique sound. The instrument is 70 years old and was given to him by his aunt when she died.

“I was worried because the guys that did take it, they really weren’t familiar with this type of instrument. They’re big but they’re fragile too,” he said.

Once word got out it was stolen, local musicians were on the lookout. Kamaka says band member Horace Dudoit got wind of who was responsible, got in touch with one of the thieves, and talked him into returning it.

“He said he loves Hookena and he loves the Kamaka family. That’s what he was telling Horace and I guess he was feeling some remorse,” Kamaka said.

He adds that pressure from the public would have made it tough for the thieves to get any money for the bass. And for that he’s grateful.

“It’s just heartwarming and I really thank them and appreciate it very much,” Kamaka said.

Honolulu Police say no arrests have been made.