If I ever had an instrument (or anything else) stolen and someone had a possible lead on it, I'd certainly want them to tell me. So, I typed up a quick e mail to ask more details on the instrument (serial number, model, etc.) and to point the person to the questionable ad, just in case it was his cello. The owner turned out to be another cello teacher who had rented this instrument to a student. Honestly I don't remember how he said it was stolen.... I think the student had left it in the car, and the car was broken into....something like that. Anyway, a couple days ago I received an e mail from the guy whose cello was stolen ( I would use his name, but I have not asked his permission yet to do so), saying the cello had been recovered. He had deicded to try e mailing the person who was selling the cello in the questionable ad and recieved a call back. Apparently the seller said she could meet him in a parking lot in San Francisco for him to take a look at the instrument. (Sound fishy to you yet?) Anyway he came clean and said he was looking for a cello that had been stolen, and that if this was the one he would be willing to pay $300 cash, no questions asked. They met in the parking lot, he recognized his cello at a glance, gave the woman $300 and walked away with the cello.
I wanted to share my story with people who understand what a cellist's bond with their instrument is like. I have to say, knowing that I was able to help return an instrument, regardless of its quality, to the hands of its rightful owner, gives me great satisfaction :-)
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