It seemed like the story behind the Lipinski Strad robbery was winding down; suspects were apprehended, the instrument and bows were returned, and all that remained were the gears of the remaining investigation and likely trial. But all of that took a sharp left turn when one of the suspects, Salah Salahadyn, walked into the Milwaukee NBC affiliate TMJ4 on 2/18/2014 and gave an on-camera interview to discuss why he stole the violin.
Spoiler alert: he claims that an “Asian gang” was behind the whole thing.
That’s not a typo, TMJ4 reporter Michele Fiore reports that Salahadyn stated an “Asian gang” forced him to steal the violin and he was afraid for his family’s safety if he failed to reply. There was no word on whether or not Salahadyn was accompanied by legal representation during his interview but he says violinist Frank Almond was the real victim in the entire affair. Fiore’s report also mentions that the criminal case against Salahadyn does not include mention of any outside group that set events in motion.
Salahadyn has entered a plea of not guilty in response to charges that robbed Almond of the violin and whether or not his “Asian gang” assertion is real or fabricated is something that will most certainly play out in court. Stay tuned.