Reports are surfacing that the ‘Lipinski’ Stradivarius violin, which was stolen in an armed robbery last week, has been recovered. The Milwaukee Police Department are currently working to confirm that an instrument found at the property of one of three suspects arrested on Monday is in fact the 300-year-old violin, valued at $5m. A press conference is to be held at noon CST (6pm GMT) to provide further details.
The instrument was stolen after a performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College on 27 January as Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond walked to his car. The thief attacked the violinist with a stun gun, causing him to drop the Strad, and fled in a waiting car driven by an accomplice.
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra subsequently announced that a $100,000 reward was being offered to anyone who could provide information leading to the violin’s safe return. The source of the reward money has not been identified.
Milwaukee police announced yesterday that they had arrested three Milwaukee residents – a 36-year-old man, a 41-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman – following dozens of tips, but that the violin had not been recovered.
On Monday Frank Almond published a statement by the ‘Lipinski’ Strad’s anonymous owner on his website, which praised the efforts of the Milwaukee police and expressed relief that Almond was not seriously hurt.