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Taxi driver to face charges for holding onto $13,000 flute a passenger left in his cab in 2012

Boston Police report recovering an expensive flute that had gone missing in 2012 after, they say, the cab driver that day showed up at a local musical-instrument store in February to inquire as to how much it might be worth.

Police say a worker at the shop, which they did not identify, took a picture of the flute and its serial number during the visit and afterwards and checked them against a database of missing flutes - and determined it may have been one reported missing in Boston in 2012, worth some $13,000.

The worker contacted police, who began an investigation that quickly led them to the driver of the cab the flute's owner reported was the last place she had seen the instrument nine years ago. Back in 2012, a performer with the New England Philharmonic reported her expensive flute went missing after a 3:30 a.m. ride in a Metrocab from her fulltime job at Howl at the Moon on High Street back to her Beacon Hill apartment.

According to police:

On April 9, 2021, detectives spoke with the individual who entered the music instrument store and attempted to determine the value of the flute that he was in possession of. The individual told detectives that he was in possession of the flute and that he purchased the flute from an unknown male. The individual then turned over the flute to detectives so that it could be returned to its rightful owner. It was then determined that the individual was a taxi cab driver who was driving a cab the day that the flute was reported missing.

Police say they will be seeking a charge of receiving stolen property against the driver. Police add they returned the flute to its owner on Monday.

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Comments

Happy the musician is reunited with her flute which is or at least was her means of livelihood. Shame on the taxi driver for stealing it.

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Quite a coincidence.

Pretty sad that this is an outcome we could have arrived back in 2012, if only BPD detectives do their job. How hard was it it to question taxi drivers?

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32

Someone loses something? “Leads? Yeah they got us working in shifts!”

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So what do they do? I get not looking for lost or stolen iPhone, but an expensive musical instrument or a child, for example, seem important enough to search for.

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I don't think I've ever seen anyone equate the value of a missing musical instrument- no matter how expensive- with that of a child

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Yeah, let's put that flute on milk cartons like missing children

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Now I'm usually not one to rush to the defense of the BPD. But isn't it possible that they did question him and he said, "I don't know nothin' about no flute"?

Or isn't it possible that if they had questioned him, he would have ditched the flute, not wanting to get in trouble, and we wouldn't have arrived at this outcome "back in 2012"?

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If they questioned him, he would realize the importance of flute and would be too afraid to keep it. There could be immigration repercussions for him for example. Most taxi drivers I met back in the day were immigrants.

Cabbies, like all other human beings, will sometimes not tell the truth. Do you expect bpd to get a warrant to search the house of the driver? Please, before you comment.... ask yourself if you know anything about the topic you are making a presumption about.

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That was my second hypothetical: he would have been afraid and would have gotten rid of the flute, possibly in the trash, to minimize the likelihood that it would be traced back to him. And then we wouldn't have this happy ending. And you think that is better?

(I will leave your weird, but predicable, bit about immigration law alone.)

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It's weird only to those not having to deal with it.

Is taxi driver mind-reading your super power?

? It is not the work of the police to find lost items.

Kudos to the shop worker for having the courage to call the police on this matter. The dude who brought it in, a thief, could very well have been armed and dangerous. The shop worker was very brave in doing the right thing!

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Keepers of flutes left in taxis are seldom armed and dangerous. But I completely agree that the worker deserves credit for having presence of mind and doing the right thing.

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The internet is an amazing place, enabling things like a central database for flutes.

Also at $13,000 that's over the $250 threshold to be facing grand larceny, which is a felony in Massachusetts up to 5 yrs $25,000 fine. If it's a first offense it would be pled down though.

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Wait, go back. There's a database of missing flutes? How many missing flutes are out there?!

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Fine. I'm willing to accept that. But it would be easier if we could make a pun about it. Maybe calling a stolen flute "floot" or saying someone flauted the law. Eh? Eh? I'll see myself out.

Professional-quality orchestral instruments are very expensive, and flutes are among the smallest, so they're probably among the most-commonly stolen.

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Oh my God is it possible for anyone to be more stupid than this taxi cab driver?

And they vote, and they breed like rabbits

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He either stole it or received it way back when. Definitely more than 6 years ago, which is probably why he was comfortable going into the shop now.
Perhaps the recent lying offers a new act to base a concealment charge, but seems a stretch. Glad the flute was reunited with owner and kudos to this shop staffer. I wish all those pawn shops around would make half a similar effort...