Arrests made in Milwaukee Stradivarius violin theft

Feb. 5, 2014 at 5:48 PM

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Milwaukee officials, without specifics, confirmed Wednesday they had begun a prosecution in the theft of a Stradivarius violin last week.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported three armed robbery suspects were taken into custody Monday, though it wasn't clear whether the $5 million violin had been recovered.

The District Attorney's Office scheduled a news conference at 4:30 p.m. local time to discuss the latest developments.

Known as the Lipinski Strad after a former owner, the violin was stolen from Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond in an armed robbery. The robbery took place after a Jan. 27 performance by Almond at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

A $100,000 reward had been offered for information resulting in the safe return of the violin, the Chicago Tribune said online.

Chicago-based Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins released several close-up photos of the violin, which the Tribune published in an online photo gallery.

The FBI Art Crime team was assisting police in the investigation, the Journal Sentinel said.

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