Stolen flute recovered after four years 偷走三十萬元長笛 四年後送修破功

Sat, May 14, 2011 - Page 13

A music teacher surnamed Wu had a flute worth more than NT$300,000 stolen four years ago. A college student that wanted the instrument to be repaired and resold recently brought the stolen flute to the same instrument dealer’s shop that originally sold it to Wu. In the end, Wu was able to recover her instrument because of the serial number engraved on it.

The police said thieves broke into Wu’s house on Lunar New Year’s Eve four years ago when she and her family were not at home. Four households in the same building, including Wu’s, were burglarized. Wu’s losses were the heaviest with a flute worth more than NT$300,000 and a violin worth around NT$80,000 both stolen.

Wu reported the theft to the police. Since musical instruments serve a specific purpose, only specific instrument dealers will purchase them. However, the flute never resurfaced until a 23 year-old college student surnamed Ho recently took it to the instrument dealer that sold it to Wu, and asked that it be repaired and resold. After noticing the serial number on the flute, the dealer became suspicious and contacted Wu. Since Wu had previously reported the theft to the police, the instrument was identified as stolen property. The police promptly detained Ho for questioning.

Ho told the police that the flute belonged to his father, who had asked him to take it to the shop for repairs that day. The police also summoned Ho’s 57 year-old father. The father claimed that a friend who was also a frequent customer at his philatelic shop had given him the instrument three years prior and subsequently moved to Australia.

Ho’s father was unable to provide the police with his friend’s contact information or even his full name, therefore doubts arose since he claimed a person had given him a flute with a value of more than NT$300,000 simply because the man was a frequent customer at his shop. The police were convinced that the father’s confessions were illogical, and thus detained him as a theft suspect.