Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
In this 2009 photo provided by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is concertmaster Frank Almond. Police said Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of a multi-million-dollar, 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that was on loan to him. Authorities say a robber used a stun gun on Almond and took the instrument from him in a parking lot. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)
3 arrested after theft of $5M Stradivarius violin
First Published Feb 05 2014 02:28 pm • Last Updated Feb 05 2014 04:09 pm

Milwaukee • Three people were arrested in connection with the theft of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin stolen last week from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Kent Lovern, a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney, said he couldn’t reveal any information beyond the arrests. He said he didn’t expect a charging decision would be made before Thursday.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the violin had been recovered. Police would only say the investigation was ongoing.

The nearly 300-year-old violin, which has been appraised at $5 million, was on loan to concertmaster Frank Almond. He had just finished performing Jan. 27 at Wisconsin Lutheran College when a robber attacked him a stun gun, seized the instrument and fled to a waiting vehicle. The violin case was later found abandoned.

The violin’s owner released a statement through Almond’s blog expressing relief that Almond wasn’t seriously hurt.

Stefan Hersh, a violin curator who helped restore the Stradivarius to playing condition after it was removed from storage in a bank vault in 2008, said he used to watch how carefully Almond would care for the violin. While some musicians see their instruments as objects or tools, Almond understood the historical significance of the violin made in 1715, Hersh said.

"He had a special case made for it, he kept it highly protected in his car, he never let it out of his sight," said Hersh, who said he and Almond were close friends. "As a performer nothing shakes him but after the theft he was highly shaken. I’ve never known him like that."

Hersh said Almond had scars on his wrist and chest from the stun gun but otherwise wasn’t seriously hurt.

A message left for Almond through the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra wasn’t immediately returned. Police had previously asked that he not speak to the media while the investigation was going on.

The violin is known in musical circles as the "Lipinski" Stradivarius. Its previous owners include virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini, who was known for his "Devil’s Trill" Sonata, and Polish violinist Karol Lipinski.

story continues below
story continues below

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra said someone had offered $100,000 for the safe return of the violin.


Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.