Thursday, February 6, 2014

Missing Stradivarius Violin Recovered From Bay View Apartment By Milwaukee Police

Stradivarius violin

Salah I. Salahadyn and Universal K. Allah

Milwaukee police recovered a missing rare violin in the South side.

By H. Nelson Goodson
February 6, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday, Milwaukee confirmed that the missing Stradivarius violin, which was stolen had been recovered in an over night search by police at a Bay View residence at the 400 block of East Smith Street where Salah I. Salahadyn, 41, had a friend store a suitcase in the attic. Salahadyn told police where it was placed in a plea agreement for reduced charges. The violin was found in good shape, according to police.
Salahadyn was charged in 1999 for stealing a small statue in 1995 from a downtown gallery. A $100,000 reward was being offered for its recovery.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn confirmed during a press conference on Wednesday, that three suspects, including a woman had been arrested in connection with the January 27 stolen Stradivarius violin worth between $6 to $10 million. Salahadyn and Universal K. Allah, 36, and a woman, 32, were taken into custody on Monday morning after information and evidence, a Taser and Taser Probe connected Allah to the armed robbery. Salahadyn was known by police for a similar art theft in November 1995, when a small statue by Nicolas Africano was stolen from the Michael Lord Gallery at the Pfister Hotel. Salahadyn after four years later called the gallery owner to see, if he wanted to buy it back. The owner called police and Salahadyn was arrested.
Criminal charges are pending against the three local suspects, according to Flynn. G. B. Jones, acting FBI special agent-in-charge of the Milwaukee field office also said, that they have the suspects involved in the violin theft.
A $100K reward was being offered for information leading to its recovery. 
The Stradivarius 1715 rare violin was reported stolen at a parking lot located at the Wisconsin Lutheran College. Police say that Frank Almond, the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra along with other members had just finished a performance and were walking to their car in the parking when the robbery occured.  A suspect approached Almond and used a taser on him, it caused him to drop the violin. The suspect then picked up the violin and fled the scene in a mini van near by, which was driven by second suspect.
Several hours later, the violin case was found iat Washington Park, including an iPad, police say. The violin was the primary target, Chief Flynn said, during the press conference.
The violin is likely the most valuable single item ever stolen in the Milwaukee area, but the value is only appreciated by few collectors. 
"It is important to note that this violin is valuable to a very small number of people in the world and is not something easily sold for what it is worth," according to police.

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