After a performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College, the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra was assaulted and robbed of a rare, valuable Stradivarius violin built in 1715. At approximately 10:20pm on January 27, Frank Almond was walking to his car after performing at Wisconsin Lutheran College with other musicians. As he approached his parked car, a suspect used an electronic control device on Mr. Almond, causing Mr. Almond to drop the violin he was carrying. The suspect then took the violin and fled in a waiting car driven by a second suspect.
The vehicle description is a late-80’s or early-90’s maroon or burgundy Chrysler or Dodge minivan. It appears at this time that the violin was the primary target of this assault and robbery. It is important to note that this violin is valuable to a very small number of people in the world and is not something easily sold for what it is worth. We have a photograph of the specific Stradivarius violin and a car similar to the one used in the crime at the bottom of the screen.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said “Last night, the artistic heritage of the City of Milwaukee was assaulted and robbed.” Flynn was joined at the press conference by Mark Niehaus, President of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
The Milwaukee Police Department is working with the FBI’s Art Crimes Team out of FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. This team specializes in high-end art thefts, including instruments like the violin taken on Monday. This violin has been entered into the international art theft database. The FBI team works with Interpol to connect with international art dealers who are able to help locate stolen items throughout international markets
We are following up on every lead. We encourage anyone with any information about things they have seen or heard that may be related to this assault and robbery to contact the Milwaukee Police Department at 414-935-7360 or the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at 414-226-7838.
Here is the video from the news conference with Chief Flynn and Mark Niehaus: