A sharp-eyed music store employee in Boston helped return a flute worth thousands of dollars to the person who'd lost it in a taxi in 2012, police said.
The employee had called police in February after someone came into the store looking to find out how much the flute was worth. The clerk took down their contact information and took a picture of the flute, including its serial number, Boston police said Wednesday.
The employee, who police didn't identify, later figured out that the flute could have been the one reported missing nine years prior. It's worth $13,000, according to police.
In April, Boston police detectives talked to the person who'd brought the flute to the music store a couple of months earlier. He told the officers that he'd bought the flute from an unknown person and gave them the instrument so they could give it to its rightful owner, police said.
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They returned the flute to its owner on Monday, and Heidi Slyker was thrilled to have it back.
She was in grad school in Cambridge for flute performance when she lost the flute in a cab after performing at a piano bar, she said Wednesday.
"I felt like I lost a limb, you could say, because it was like a part of me. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but I played it all growing up. It took me through high school and college," Slyker said.
The detectives also determined that the person who had the flute was a taxi driver who'd been driving a cab when the flute was reported missing, police said.
They said they plan to seek a complaint of receiving stolen goods against the taxi driver, who wasn't identified, in Boston Municipal Court.
It's not the first time a valuable flute has been recovered in Boston. In 2017, Boston University police found a $14,000 Juan Arista flute two months after it had been stolen.