Police in Bloemfontein have traced and confiscated a 25-year-old cello worth R60,000 after it was stolen during an orchestra performance at the University of the Free State (UFS) last year, reports Bloemfontein Courant.
According to the police, an orchestra was performing at the UFS in September 2019 and at around 9.30pm, they went out for dinner, leaving their instruments ready for their next session. However, when they returned, their professor realised that one of the instruments was missing.
A case of theft was opened at the Park Road Police Station.
On Thursday morning, the Parkweg Tracing Task Team received information that someone was allegedly selling the instrument fitting the description of the one which was reported missing by the UFS. Members followed up on the lead, which led them to a house where the suspect was staying.
Police then waited in their vehicle after discovering that the suspect was not at his place of residence. When he appeared, he was surprised by the police, who then requested to see the instrument. The police examined the instrument using the information given to them by the owner, and although it had been painted a different colour, the police could still make out the distinguishing marks.
The suspect was arrested as he couldn’t provide them with convincing reasons why it was in his possession.
The 25-year-old music student at the UFS was arrested for theft and possession of suspected stolen property. It is also alleged that he was asking R6,000 for the instrument on Facebook, and that there were already people showing interest from outside the country. The suspect will appear in court soon.