Violin theft suspect: 'There was fear'

CREATED Feb. 19, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb. 19, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - The theft of a Stradivarius violin has had a rather positive ending for the musicians at the home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.  The violin is back in the hands of concert master Frank Almond, and there seems to be renewed interest in their performances.  But, it's not a happy ending for a mother of three young children who's connected to one of the suspects.

Salah Salahadyn opened up in an exclusive interview with TODAY's TMJ4, saying he was not the master mind behind the Stradivarius heist. In his words, it's much bigger than Salah Salahadyn.
 
"There was moments where there was fear. I didn't know the extent that they may want this thing back," said Salahadyn.
 
Salahadyn claims he still fears members of an Asian gang that forced him to steal the Stradivarius.
 
"To have that thwarted and the person whom was their pawn decide they're no longer gonna be played, I'm sure there would be some resentment," said Salahadyn.
 
But the main reason Salahadyn wanted to talk to us, was to try and help his three young children. They were taken away from their mom two weeks ago when she was arrested, along with Salahadyn and another man, Universal Knowledge Allah.  But, she hasn't been charged in the case.
 
"I want her kids back in custody. I really do, that um (puts head in hands)," said Salahadyn.
 
Meanwhile, Salahadyn plans to meet with other law enforcement agencies.
 
"I don't know what developments have come or will come out of 'em, um, I don't know know if I will even be at liberty, even further beyond today be able to talk on these matters, which is why I'm taking advantage to do that now, and um, we'll see. We will see, Milwaukee will see," said Salahadyn.
 
We tried to track down the second suspect charged in this case Wednesday with no luck. We also spoke with the FBI to see if they are investigating Salahadyn's claims, but they said they couldn't comment on the case.