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Valuable Cello Stolen From SF Music School Recovered At Opera House

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A valuable cello stolen from a San Francisco music school on Sunday was recovered late Tuesday night, police said Wednesday.

The Bubenreuth cello, owned by San Francisco Conservatory of Music student Adam Young and valued at about $10,000, was taken sometime between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday from an unsecured storage locker at the school at 50 Oak St.

Around 11:55 p.m. Tuesday, a security guard noticed a musical instrument resting against a door at the War Memorial Opera House on Van Ness Avenue and took it inside for safekeeping, police said.

After seeing a news report about the cello theft Wednesday morning, security personnel at the building called police and conservatory officials, who were able to identify the instrument as the stolen cello, according to police.

"We are very pleased that Adam Young's cello has been recovered," Conservatory of Music spokesman Sam Smith said. "It was his most valuable possession and he had no immediate way to replace it."

Young, 23, works as a street musician at the Montgomery BART station and also has a quartet that performs his original compositions in the city's Castro District, Smith said.

Sheet music for those compositions had been in his cello case and was also recovered with the instrument, which Young has been playing for more than a decade, according to Smith.

"We're very grateful for the cooperation and support of police in putting this out in front of the people," he said.

Investigators believe two people are responsible for the theft, but no arrests had been made as of Wednesday afternoon.

A pair was seen on surveillance video at the school walking into the building and then walking out with a cello, according to police.

The first suspect is described as a white man between 25 and 30 years old who is about 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighs about 180 pounds and has dirty blond or brown hair. The second suspect is described as a white woman of a similar age who is about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a thin build and black hair, police said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Inspector Brian Danker of the Northern Police Station's special investigation team at (415) 614-3463.

People wishing to remain anonymous can call the department's tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411 and begin the message with "SFPD."

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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