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$5m stolen violin recovered intact

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra via AP

NEW YORK — A Stradivarius violin that was stolen in late January from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has been recovered seemingly unharmed, authorities in Milwaukee said Thursday.

“There are good days and there are bad days,” Mayor Tom Barrett said at a news conference, praising cooperation between the FBI and local police. “Today is good day.”

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The rare instrument, which dates from 1715 and has been valued at $5 million, was recovered Wednesday night, after police searched a residence on the East Side of Milwaukee, led there by one of three suspects recently arrested in the case, said Edward A. Flynn, the Milwaukee chief of police. Officers found the violin inside a suitcase in an attic. Flynn described the home as owned by a friend of the suspect but said that person was believed to have no knowledge of what he had been asked to store.

The violin, known as the Lipinski Strad, after a Polish virtuoso who owned it in the 19th century, was stolen on Jan. 27 from Frank Almond, the concertmaster. He had just finished performing a chamber concert with the instrument at Wisconsin Lutheran College and was walking to his car about 10:20 p.m. when he was assaulted by someone with a stun gun. The attacker grabbed the violin and fled in a dark minivan. The violin case was found hours later on the north side of Milwaukee, police said.

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