3 in custody, but search for priceless violin continues

CREATED Feb 5, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb 5, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the theft of a Stradivarius violin; but the search for the priceless instrument continues, MPD Chief Edward Flynn announced Wednesday.

"This thing is extremely valuable to a very small number of people," Flynn said. "It's not going to gain value for [the suspects]."

At least one of the suspects has a history with Milwaukee police, according to Flynn.

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra also released a statement Wednesday:

"We are pleased to learn of the progress in this ongoing investigation and defer to the authorities for updates on suspects and arrests. It is our sincerest hope that the stolen Stradivarius is ultimately found so it may be enjoyed by the Milwaukee community for generations to come."

The valuable and rare violin was stolen from Concertmaster Frank Almond Jan. 27. The suspect used a stun gun to attack Almond, who then dropped the instrument. The thief escaped in a maroon minivan driven by an accomplice.

Only 650 such violins are known to exist, according to Stradivarius.org. The violin has no set value, but similar specimens have sold for more than $3 million. Experts suggest the "Lipinski Strad" could fetch a sum close to $10 million.

Check back to TODAY'S TMJ4 as updates become available.