SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Thieves broke into a car on Post and Hyde Street and stole a 107-year-old violin on Monday.
The owner, Clinton Heise of Pope Valley, says he's had the violin since he was 16 years old.
He parked his car Monday and left the violin, along with a backpack and jacket, on the floorboard behind the front seat. Sometime between 2 and 5 p.m. thieves broke a window and took the items.
Heise told KTVU's Heather Holmes he "immediately had this sinking feeling that the violin was gone." He added, "(I) felt like I lost family."
Officers in the Tenderloin neighborhood spotted the violin around 10 p.m. Monday and contacted the owner. They said it was found in an area of the Tenderloin known for stolen goods. Heise says he was "ecstatic" when he got the call from police around 10 p.m. Monday that they found the violin.
He was thrilled to have his prized possession back where it belonged. "It's like part of me. My heart and soul," he said.
He says although none of his other items were found, he's "feeling blessed and feeling grateful."