International forces investigate theft of MSO violin

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:16 pm

Following a Monday evening crime that robbed Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra violinist and concertmaster Frank Almond of his 18th-century Stradivarius violin, Milwaukee police and the FBI are conducting a special investigation to recover the rare instrument.

According to reports from WISN 12 News, a media partner of BizTimes, Almond was approached and tased by an individual Monday night while leaving Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, where he had just performed.

Almond then dropped the multi-million dollar violin, and the thief took it and fled the scene with the driver of a late 1980s or early 1990s model Dodge or Chrysler minivan, either maroon or burgundy, according to WISN.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn held a special news conference about the incident on Tuesday afternoon.

Police believe Almond was targeted for the instrument, which dates back to 1715. Almond’s iPad and the violin case were found on the street near Washington Park, according to WISN reports, and police are now collaborating with an FBI team that focuses on high-end art theft. They have also notified Interpol.

The MSO is currently struggling to raise $5 million in order to continue operations and performances for the Milwaukee community.

As Almond takes time to recover from Monday’s crime, the MSO has released a statement: “The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra family would like to express our gratitude for the outpouring of support that we, and our concertmaster Frank Almond, have received following an armed robbery in which the Lipinski Stradivarius was stolen. We are profoundly thankful that Frank was not harmed in this incident. We are cooperating fully with local, federal and international authorities working to return this priceless instrument to its owner, and are not at liberty to speak on the investigation itself. We hold every hope that it will be recovered and returned to its rightful owner and the professional musicians who share its true beauty with the public through the power of the music.”

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