Stolen Stradivarius case: Milwaukee Mayor received haircut from theft suspect

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he was surprised to learn he had received a haircut from one of the suspects in the theft of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin.

The man worked at a Milwaukee barber shop.

Barrett says he was walking through the neighborhood, stopped into the shop to say hello and was asked if he wanted a haircut. He said yes.

The mayor said Thursday that after the suspect was arrested, his staff discovered a picture of him in the barber's chair on the suspect's Facebook page.

Earlier Story --

A Stradivarius violin snatched in a daring robbery is now in the hands of Milwaukee Police.

Police raided a home in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood Wednesday night.

They found the violin valued at several million dollars stuffed in a suitcase in the attic of the home.

Chief Flynn said it was stashed there by one of the suspects, Salah Jones.

"It was a friend of his who owns the residence, it is also our understanding that the owner was unaware of the contents of the suitcase." Flynn said.

Detectives traced a second suspect, Universal Knowledge Allah to the stun gun used to shock concert master Frank Almond on the night of the attack.

Jones and Allah are expected to be charged Friday.

It's not clear if a third suspect, a woman will face charges.

(source: WTMJ)

Eariler Story --

Police say they have recovered a violin that could be the rare Stradivarius stolen from a concertmaster following a performance last month at a Milwaukee college.

Milwaukee Police Lt. Jeffrey Norman said Thursday that experts will be contacted to confirm the authenticity of the violin.

Authorities are holding three suspects in the Jan. 27 theft of the historic violin, crafted in 1715 and appraised for insurance purposes at $5 million.

Two men, ages 41 and 36, and a 32-year-old woman, are in custody.

Concertmaster Frank Almond was walking to his car following a performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College when someone jumped out of a van, shocked him with a stun gun and seized the Stradivarius on loan to him. The robber got back into the waiting vehicle, which sped off.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 5, 2014 --- 5:30 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police have not recovered a valuable violin stolen last month, despite the arrests of three people in connection with the theft.

Police Chief Ed Flynn said Wednesday the search continues for the so-called Lipinski Stradivarius. The $5 million instrument was stolen from a Milwaukee virtuoso as he walked to his car following a Jan. 27 performance.

Prosecutors say they don't expect any decisions about charges to be made before Thursday.

Police say the robber appeared to be targeting the violin specifically. They say a thief used a stun gun on violinist Frank Almond, grabbed the violin and jumped into a waiting vehicle.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, February 5, 2014 --- 12:54 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee County prosecutors say three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin stolen from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster.

Assistant District Attorney Kent Lovern said Wednesday he couldn't reveal any information beyond the arrests. He says he doesn't expect a charging decision to be made before Thursday.

Police say the nearly 300-year-old violin was on loan to concertmaster Frank Almond. Authorities say a robber used a stun gun on Almond and took the instrument from him in a parking lot of Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he had just performed Jan. 27.

The violin has been appraised at $5 million.

An anonymous source recently offered $100,000 for the safe return of the violin.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, January 31, 2014 --- 4:08 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- An anonymous source is offering $100,000 for the safe return of a nearly 300-year-old Stradivarius violin stolen from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster.

The rare violin was on loan to Frank Almond from an anonymous donor.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has said the robber used a stun gun on Almond and took the instrument Monday evening in a parking lot at Wisconsin Lutheran College, where Almond had just preformed.

The reward is offered to anyone who can provide information which results in the violin's safe return.

MSO president and executive director Mark Niehaus says they are hopeful the reward will help in the violin's recovery.

Police Lt. Mark Stanmeyer says they are continuing to investigate and haven't made any arrests. Milwaukee police can be reached at (414) 935-7360.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 29, 2014 --- 5:30 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Experts say whoever stole a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin in Milwaukee would have a hard time selling it.

The rare violin was on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond. The robber used a stun gun on Almond and took the instrument from him Monday night in a parking lot behind Wisconsin Lutheran College, where Almond had just preformed

A retired FBI expert tells the Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1egwI83 ) he expects the motive is similar to that of high-end art thefts.

Robert K. Wittman says such thefts are not about possessing an antique -- the goal is getting paid by someone to take it or trying to sell it.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has said the violin is valued in the "high seven figures."

Police and the FBI are investigating.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, January 28, 2014 --- 7:09 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police are investigating the theft of a 300-year-old violin.

The rare Stradivarius violin was on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond. Police said Tuesday that the robber used a stun gun on Almond before taking the violin Monday night in a parking lot at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the instrument is the so-called Lipinski Stradivarius, crafted in 1715.

In a 2008 newspaper story, Chicago violin dealer Stefan Hersh said the violin's value could be comparable to another Stradivarius that sold for more than $3.5 million in 2006.

The instrument was on indefinite loan to Almond from its anonymous owners. The violin's previous owners include virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini, who was known for his "Devil's Trill" Sonata, and Polish violinist Karol Lipinski.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Tuesday, January 28, 2014 --- 5:20 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police say they are investigating the theft of an "exceptionally valuable" Stradivarius violin.

The rare violin was on loan to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond. Police said Tuesday that it was stolen during an armed robbery Monday night in a parking lot at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the instrument is a so-called Lipinski Stradivarius, crafted in 1715.

In a 2008 newspaper story, Chicago violin dealer Stefan Hersh said the violin's value could be comparable to another Stradivarius that sold for more than $3.5 million in 2006.

The instrument was on indefinite loan to Almond from its anonymous owners. The violin's previous owners include virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini, who was known for his "Devil's Trill" Sonata, and Polish violinist Karol Lipinski.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014 --- 4:17 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police say they are investigating the theft of an "exceptionally valuable" Stradivarius violin.

Police say the Stradivarius violin was taken during an armed robbery Monday night in a parking lot at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

More details about the robbery are to be released Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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