Newspaper article International New York Times

Stradivarius Appears to Be Found Safe; 3 Are Arrested

Newspaper article International New York Times

Stradivarius Appears to Be Found Safe; 3 Are Arrested

Article excerpt

A Stradivarius violin that was stolen in late January from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra appears to have been recovered, the concertmaster, Frank Almond, said on Thursday.

A valuable Stradivarius violin that was stolen in late January from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra appears to have been recovered, the concertmaster, Frank Almond, said on Thursday.

Mr. Almond confirmed a report in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the instrument, which dates from 1715 and is valued at $5 million, was recovered in good condition, but said he would have no further comment until he had verified that the police had the correct violin.

On Wednesday, the Milwaukee police announced that two men and a woman had been arrested in the theft, in which Mr. Almond was assaulted with a stun gun.

"It could have been incredibly sophisticated or incredibly banal," Edward A. Flynn, the city's police chief, said of the crime. "This one is somewhere in between."

Chief Flynn did not identify the people arrested but said that the men were 36 and 41 and the woman was 32, and that all were from Milwaukee. Asked whether they had criminal records, he said at least one was "not unknown" to the Milwaukee police.

The police later confirmed local reports that one of the people had been convicted of possessing a $25,000 sculpture that disappeared from a Milwaukee art gallery nearly two decades ago. All three were arrested on Monday and were still in custody.

Though hesitant to speculate, Chief Flynn said there was no evidence to suggest that the violin had left Milwaukee. "At this point, we don't have any indication that they were working for anyone but themselves," he said of the suspects during a news conference on Wednesday.

The Milwaukee County district attorney's office said it was reviewing the case, but it was unclear when charges would be brought. …

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