Musician with L.A. Philharmonic mistakenly left the Stradivarius on his Los Feliz porch overnight


The theft early last week of a $3.5-million Stradivarius cello owned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic sent a sour note across the classical music world amid fears that a sophisticated ring of bandits had made off with the 17th century treasure.

Detectives launched an international search for the instrument as aficionados from London to Hong Kong chattered about who might have the cello.

But on Thursday, the investigation shifted decidedly closer to home.

The Los Angeles Police Department released a videotape showing a young man on a bicycle, probably a teenager from the neighborhood, making off with the cello.

The grainy video shows the thief pedaling away with the silver cello case under his arm, then has the sound of him crashing into trash cans before getting away.

So instead of scouring the auction houses of the world, detectives are focusing on the Los Feliz neighborhood where the theft occurred at the home of the orchestra's principal cellist. They plan to distribute fliers around the area and visit nearby John Marshall High School to show the video to students who might know the thief.

http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/s...lo7may07.story