Prized $4,400 Saxophone Stolen Again Hours After Being Recovered

Owner believes a sax player is responsible for a new break-in

It's a story that keeps getting stranger by the hour: a prized saxophone stolen Thursday from a local music shop was recovered on Saturday, only to be stolen again early Sunday morning.

The saxophone, valued at $4,400, was taken in the middle of the night from Middle C Music in Tenleytown shortly after midnight on June 6, only to be recovered after an anonymous call in Northwest D.C. on Saturday.

But just as store owner Myrna Sislen thought the bizarre robbery was resolved, the sax was stolen again, around 4 a.m. on Sunday.

"When I get the call in the middle of the night, I know what it is," she said.

Surveillance video shows a man breaking into Middle C Music, veering past the guitars and violins, and heading straight to the Gerald Albright Signature Series alto saxophone by Cannonball.

According to Sislen, Middle C Music nurtures budding musicians with lessons and stocks everything a professional musician could possibly need, leading her to believe this thief is a musician.

"This is a sax player," Sislen said.

She said the man seems to know what he's after.

“It’s a very special instrument,” she said. “It is maybe the most famous of the Cannonball Series alto saxophones. The Gerald Albright is what everyone wants.”

Both surveillance videos show the man calmly taking the saxophone, in the first case off the wall and in the second case from a hidden location.

Thursday's theft was the first break-in at the store since 2002, but Sislen said she has a hunch that three failed attempts since August were the work of the same man.

But Sislen said that she got a call Saturday informing her where to come to find the saxophone and that she called the police, only to end up going herself to find it.

But then the thief struck again, early Sunday morning.

"Who would think that within hours of recovering it, he would be back again and steal it back again," Sislen said.

This time, the thief took a flute, a clarinet and some reeds.

"I understand we're all musicians. We're a little off, I get that. This is way, way beyond that," Sislen said.

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