With a name like Universal Knowledge Allah, it might be reasonable to expect the man to know better. But the Milwaukee barber and gun licensee reportedly was involved in a highly publicized theft of a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin and tried to escape “in an older maroon minivan,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Allah, 36, and his accomplice, Salah Salahadyn, 41, were arrested on Feb. 7, and each charged with robbery in the theft of the violin, which is valued for insurance purposes at $5 million, the report shows. Allah also faces a charge of possessing marijuana. A woman who police say drove the getaway minivan has not yet been charged.
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond was attacked with a stun gun after a performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College on Jan. 27, the report says. Thieves then grabbed his violin and escaped.
The plan was hatched when Salahadyn, also known as Salah Jones, reportedly asked Allah, who has a concealed-weapons permit, to buy a Taser stun gun for him last summer, the Journal Sentinel reports, citing the criminal complaint. In Wisconsin, only permit holders may carry a Taser. Allah reportedly stored the weapon in a safe at the barbershop where he works until Salahadyn asked for it last month.
After the robbery, a customer at Allah's barbershop heard him discussing the violin theft. The customer told investigators that after his haircut Allah asked him for a ride home. During the ride, Allah mentioned that Salahadyn had "used the electric, not the heat," referring to using the Taser, during the robbery.
Another tipster told police that Salahadyn was fascinated with stealing high-end art and described snatching a Stradivarius from a musician as his "dream theft."
With the help of the FBI, investigators already had traced the sale of the Taser to Allah through tiny, unique bits of confetti emitted by the weapon, the report notes.
Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.