Stradivarius robbery suspects charged with robbery

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by Chris Patterson

MILWAUKEE -- 36-year-old Universal Allah and 41-year-old Salah Salahadyn have been charged with robbery for their alleged roles in the stealing of a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin on January 27th.

According to the criminal complaint, Salahadyn used a taser purchased by Allah to rob Concertmaster Frank Almond of a 300-year-old Stradivarius Lipinski violin. The robbery took place in a parking lot at Wisconsin Lutheran College just after a concert on January 27th.

The criminal complaint says as Almond opened the door to his car, a man approached him from behind  armed with a taser. Almond told police he was hit with that taser in the wrist and chest. 

Another musician walking to his car after the concert told police he heard a scream, and heard Almond yell out "They got the violin." The witness says he saw a maroon van drive past him heading west from the parking lot. Police say they have yet to find the vehicle used in this robbery.

One day after the robbery, police found the violin case near 44th and Garfield Ave. At the time of the robbery the case contained the Stradivarius Lipinski violin, two 19th century bows valued at $20,000 and $30,000, an iPad, and cell phone.

A confidential informant identified as W.D. approached an off-duty Milwaukee police officer saying, "I know where the violin is at." W.D. told police he was getting his hair cut by Allah as the other men talked about the violin theft stories they saw on the news. W.D. says after getting his hair cut Allah asked for a ride home. The complaint says as W.D. gave Allah a ride home, Allah told him a person named "Salah" stole the violin.

According to the criminal complaint, Allah told W.D. that Salahadyn researched the violin, and conducted the robbery using a taser he purchased. The complaint says another confidential source told police Salahadyn said stealing the Stradivarius violin is his dream theft, because of the potential value.

The criminal complaint says police were able to track down Allah using confetti-like paper left by the taser at the scene of the robbery. The small paper left behind by the taser contained identifying serial numbers. Investigators found the company that sold the taser used in this robbery, and used company records to see that Allah purchased the weapon in 2013. Allah later told investigators Salahadyn gave him the money to purchase the weapon during the summer of 2013. Police say Allah made the purchase for Salahadyn, because Salahadyn could not legally purchase weapons.

Court documents say Allah held on to the taser until days before the robbery. Police say Allah got a call from Salahadyn saying he needed the taser. Once Allah allegedly delivered the taser to Salahadyn, he didn't hear from Salahadyn until after the robbery. 

Police arrested both Salahadyn and Allah on February 3rd. Following his arrest Salahadyn allegedly told police where they could find the stolen violin. Police found the violin inside a suitcase in the attic of a house on the 400 block of E. Smith St.

Allah is facing an additional charge of possession with intent to deliver controlled substance. While executing a search warrant at Allah's residence they found 45.15 grams of marijuana. In the criminal complaint, Allah told police he purchased the marijuana days before his arrest. He allegedly confessed to having plans to sell the marijuana for $325. Allah allegedly told police he sells small amounts of marijuana as needed to help pay rent and bills.

If convicted, Salahadyn could face up to 15 years in jail. Due to the additional drug charge, Allah could serve up to 18.5 years in jail if convicted on both criminal charges.

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