Suspected SF Thief Turns In Pricey Violin; Is Arrested

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A man suspected of stealing an expensive violin from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music was arrested Thursday night after dropping the instrument off at a church, a police spokesman said Friday.

Scott Sylvester, 27, was arrested at about 8 p.m. Thursday after dropping off the violin to a priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in the city’s Western Addition neighborhood that morning, San Francisco police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

The violin, worth about $23,000, was reported stolen on April 26 from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, located at 50 Oak St., Dangerfield said.

The suspect allegedly went into a practice room at the conservatory and took the violin. He was spotted leaving with the violin in its case, which a couple of the victim’s friends identified as her case, Dangerfield said.

The friends followed the suspect to a San Francisco Municipal Railway Muni Metro light-rail vehicle but lost him once he got onboard, according to Dangerfield.

Police were able to determine what train the suspect was on based on information from the friends, and pulled the surveillance video from it to try to identify him, he said.

Sylvester decided to turn in the violin to a priest at the church Thursday morning, and he was arrested that night, Dangerfield said.

Police recovered the violin from the church and planned to reunite the instrument with its owner soon.

Sylvester was booked into jail on suspicion of grand theft, Dangerfield said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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