Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Muggers Mistook My Clarinets for Laptop; Suspects Held after Trying to Sell Instruments

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Muggers Mistook My Clarinets for Laptop; Suspects Held after Trying to Sell Instruments

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

A MUSICIAN has told of the moment his treasured clarinets were stolen in a street mugging.

William Stafford, 26, was attacked as he walked home in east London after performing with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican last month.

A gang of three muggers allegedly grabbed his clarinet case containing the two instruments, worth [pounds sterling]3,000 each, mistakenly thinking it held a laptop. Mr Stafford, who has played as principal clarinet with some of Britain's leading orchestras, said: "I could hear some footsteps behind me and they suddenly speeded up and I was attacked from behind.

"One of them grabbed me around the neck in a stranglehold while the other two came around the front and searched me, stealing my wallet, mobile phone and rail ticket.

"One of them said 'grab his laptop', which was in fact the case containing my clarinets, and then they ran off." The musician alerted police after the attack shortly before 11pm on December 29. …

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