Prosecutors have said it was the dream theft of a live for the suspect, just snatch a Stradivarius violin worth millions of dollars from a musician who never suspected it.
Salah Salahadyn who is 41 had previously attempted and failed to steal artwork. The man who lives in Milwaukee pleaded guilty to attempting to resell a statue worth $25,000 to an owner of an art gallery from whom he had stolen it five years earlier.
The man’s girlfriend told officials that while he did not take part in stealing it, he in fact plotted the theft.
For the artwork theft, Salahadyn was given a five-year sentence. He now is facing as many as 15 years behind bars for the theft of the violin. He was charged along with another a suspect on Friday in connection with the heist in January of the Stradivarius which is worth $5 million and is 300 years old.
A source told law enforcement that Salahadyn spoke about stealing artwork, said the criminal complaint. The source said the man talked about his dream theft.
Universal Knowledge Allah, who is 36 and Salahadyn appeared on Friday in a courtroom in Milwaukee County and were charged with taking part in a robbery.
Allah was also charged with marijuana possession. The court commissioner put cash bail at $10,000, citing a lengthy criminal record for Salahadyn, which includes bail jumping. Allah was given $500 bail. His does not have a police record.
Paul Ksicinski the defense attorney for Allah said the complaint against his client said he was not at the robbery scene. However, the complaint does say that Allah purchased a stun gun that was used during the robbery.
Alejandro Lockwood, the public defender defending Salahadyn did not speak to reporters.
Experts said the violin degrades if not played, but will remain in top condition when regularly played. It is estimated that between 600 and 650 Stradivarius instruments remain, close to 50% of what were produced by the master and are worth millions.
It would not be difficult to locate one, as symphonies that have a Stradivarius will play up that fact in their ads, brochures and with local media.