Stolen cello dropped off at Chinatown bar, reunited with its owner

The music has not died for a 16-year-old girl whose cello was stolen earlier this month.

The instrument, worth $8,500, was recovered in a Chinatown bar on Tuesday, police said Thursday.

The cello was stolen by two suspects, a man and woman, out of a car parked in a Union Square area parking garage on April 11. Video surveillance captured the suspects as the woman rummaged through the car the cello was in and her male accomplice in a vehicle behind the victim vehicle.

On Tuesday, an anonymous citizen walked into a bar in the 900 block of Grant Avenue and dropped off the cello with an employee, police said. The person who dropped it off told the employee to give the cello to police.

The employee was familiar with the story of the stolen cello and called the department's anonymous tipline and told police he had the cello. Officers arrived and took the cello into custody before returning it to the 16-year-old girl who owned it.

While police are happy the cello has been returned, the investigation is ongoing and encourage anyone with further information on the suspects in the case to call Sgt. Alicia Castillo at (415) 345-7300 or the anonymous tipline at (415) 575-4444 or text at TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.

The two suspects broke into the victim's vehicle about 9 p.m. at a garage in the 100 block of O'Farrell Street and besides the cello, stole several other items.

The male suspect is described as being about 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, with a shaved head and may be 30 to 40 years old. The female suspect is described as 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds with brown hair and may be 20 to 30 years old.

The case is similar to another case from 2013, where a man and a woman roamed the halls of the Conservatory of Music until they finally found a valuable cello and walked out with it. In that incident, the cello was found a few days later leaning against the door of the War Memorial Opera House.

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