CBS — A worldwide search is underway for a priceless Stradivarius violin, stolen Monday night from a violinist with ties to Northwestern University.
“The artistic heritage of Milwaukee was assaulted and robbed,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.
Flynn says thieves used a Taser to disable Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster Frank Almond outside Wisconsin Lutheran College and grab the 300-year-old instrument, known as “The Lipinski Stradivarius,” then drive off in an aging maroon Dodge or Chrysler minivan.
The theft stunned Milwaukee Symphony President Mark Neihaus.
“This is the only Stradivarius in Milwaukee, Our orchestra is not filled with instruments like this,” said Neihaus.
Flynn says unique markings on its back make it readily identifiable. The FBI and Interpol have been alerted. Flynn says that makes it virtually unsellable, and says his department is checking everything from pawn shops to international databases.
Almond also lectures at Northwestern. He’s recovering.