Alleged Stradivarius thief claims he was protecting his family

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WEAU) The man accused of stealing a priceless violin is telling his side of the story.

Salah Salahadyn was arrested for stealing a rare Stradivarius last month.

According to police, he used a stun gun on the owner before snatching the violin and fleeing.

Now, Salahadyn says he stole the violin to protect his family.

He claims an Asian gang planned to sell the violin to someone overseas and says he held onto the rare instrument to protect his family.

"The intention was to secure my family's safety and security and that was best did by holding onto the piece and waiting to have some contact with law enforcement by which i could explain my situation," he explains.

Salahadyn says he played the violin as a child and took care of the Stradivarius while it was in his possession.

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