A Milwaukee man whose attorney said he had become obsessed with the idea of stealing a Stradivarius violin was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster of his instrument after a performance in January, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Salah Salahadyn, 42, fired a Taser at Frank Almond as he walked to his car. Police traced confetti left by the weapon to Salahadyn’s barber, who had purchased the Taser months earlier. He led police to Salahadyn, who eventually led police to the instrument.
Investigators said Salahadyn had said such a robbery would be his dream crime because of the instrument’s value and the ease of grabbing it from a musician walking down the street. Salahadyn pleaded guilty last month. Almond requested the maximum sentence, not out of “retribution or revenge,” but as a deterrent to others who might envision staging a more successful version of the robbery, which Almond called “a bizarre and tragic saga, the comic elements notwithstanding.” Salahadyn wanted to sell the violin, valued at about $5 million, and to use the proceeds to buy a 36-unit apartment building he used to manage because “gentrification” had unfairly forced the eviction of poorer and older tenants, whom he wanted to help move back. “I felt the ends were justified. They weren’t,” Salahadyn said. Judge Dennis Moroney said even if Salahadyn had noble motives, playing Robin Hood was not the way to help others.