TORONTO – A Toronto hospital says thieves made off with a baby grand piano by telling staff they were taking the rare instrument for a tune-up.
Police say two men lifted a Boston Steinway Baby Grand Piano onto a dolly to wheel it out of a fourth-floor conservatory of the downtown Toronto General Hospital near the end of lunchtime on July 14.
Todd Milne, the head of hospital security, said employees asked the men what they were doing, but were let alone to whisk the instrument away after explaining it was going for some musical servicing.
“No one would ever expect someone to steal a piano,” he said.
“Of course if you know anything about pianos you know the tuners go to the piano, the piano doesn’t go to them,” Milne added.
Milne said the thieves used a service elevator to move the $27,000 piano down to a loading area, where a third suspect helped them haul it into a waiting red-and-white cargo van.
“It was probably a bit of a drag for them to get the piano out.”
Milne said the pricey piano was donated to the hospital in 2006 and was commonly used for weekly hour-long performances for patients.
He said the hospital didn’t realize the prized instrument was gone until four days later, just before one of the scheduled live music shows.
“We found it very strange,” Milne said.
He said the hospital hopes the rarity of the instrument will lead to its swift recovery and return to its usual spot on the fourth floor, which he said is a place for patients to go and relax.
Milne said security cameras didn’t get a clear shot of the suspects rolling the instrument away, and that the hospital is now mulling over installing cameras in the atrium area.
Police describe all three suspects as 25-year-olds. They say one man who helped roll it away is white, around 190 pounds with short blonde hair and was wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, while a second piano-mover is black with black hair and wore a striped shirt, brown shorts and a baseball cap. The third, police say, is white with black hair.