Theft of Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Stradivarius Cello Was Captured on Videotape; $50,000 Reward Offered

Esa-Pekka Salonen with Peter Stumpf and cello to the left.  Click for the hi-res image from laphil.org (2.1 mb)The Stradivarius cello known as “General Kyd” which was stolen in late April has not yet been found, but they’ve got tape of the suspect with cello from a neighbor’s surveillance tape.

In the neighborhood where the cello was last seen, the police plan to (have gone?) go door-to-door to blanket the area with reward fliers. They think the thief may live in the Loz Feliz neighborhood.

Has anyone seen such a flier? I’d love to see it scanned in and posted at blogging.la.

Here’s the link for the full AP article on NapaNews.com.

My favorite snippet of this article:

…A grainy surveillance camera videotape from a neighbor’s home showed a man lugging the 4 1/2-foot-tall silver-colored cello case in one hand as he tries to ride away on the bicycle. A few moments later, there is the sound of a crash as he apparently runs into some trash cans on the sidewalk, said Detective Donald Hrycyk of the LAPD’s art theft detail…

For more about what was seen on the tape, see another source below.

Here’s a clip from the AP article from May 7:

A grainy surveillance camera videotape from a neighbor’s home showed a man lugging the 4.5-foot (1.35 meters) tall silver-colored cello case in one hand as he tries to ride away on the bicycle.

The flier said the thief appears to be between 15 and 26 years old.

It was unclear whether the thief had targeted the cello or it was crime of opportunity, the detective said.

In an earlier part of the videotape, the bicyclist is seen riding up the hilly street past the home. He later is seen returning, parking the bike, and disappearing, only to return to the street carrying the cello case. [read full story on andante.com]

Peter Stumpf with the cello. Click for the hi-res image from laphil.org (1.9 mb) The cello case.  Click for the hi-res image from laphil.org (130 kb) Peter Stumpf playing the cello.  Click for the hi-res image from laphil.org (384 kb)

2 Replies to “Theft of Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Stradivarius Cello Was Captured on Videotape; $50,000 Reward Offered”

  1. Interesting that both the Andante and Napa News stories politely state that the cops declined to elaborate how the bicycling thief got in the house to steal the cello.

    That’s because he didn’t have to go into the house. A May 8 follow-up article in the L.A. Times dropped the made-for-ridicule revelation that Stumpf admitted to setting the esteemed and irreplaceable instrument down outside his house, went inside, and then forgot about it. All. Night. Long.

    WTF?!

    From the article: “The cello … was taken about 6:30 a.m. on April 25 after Stumpf accidentally left it on his front steps overnight.”

    The article also mentions the police going “door to door on Talmadge Street” in Los Feliz so I’m assuming that’s the scene of Stumpf’s $3.5-million brainfart heard around the world, and the resulting crime.

  2. Now I am really going to worry that the whole world knows where this cello lives at night…inviting more disasters! I think the cello should continued to be played by Peter (I’ve done space-case things in my life, so I have great pity for his plight), but if I were Peter, I don’t think I’d ever sleep again at night if the cello were brought back home with me!
    What a worry to have a cello that valuable, and what a callous, pea-brained oaf that thief was to even think he could carry the cello on his bike — much less steal it! I believe it’s true that stealing a musician’s instrument is almost as cruel as stealing someone’s child. Both are irreplaceable, sadly. I know musicians who have had an instrument stolen and they never quite forget the character that they lost in that instrument.

    I take a cello (beginning student of this amazing instrument) with me on the Light Rail sometimes, and it’s really bulky, makes me feel like I’m dragging a small whale behind me! I can’t fathom what it would be like to haul a bass fiddle around! They seem twice as large!

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