Rice University Police recover $30,000 violin stolen from campus

“Jiyeon Min’s $30,000 violin, along with a pair of $5,000 bows, went missing before her final scheduled performance as a student at the Shepherd School of Music Presidential Concert at Stude Hall. Sgt. Gary Spears picked up the case and knew where to look first. The first thing we did was a LeadsOnline search. I gave it a whirl and searched for all violins with that brand name pawned in Texas and Louisiana over the weekend. There was only one, and it was at a business just down the street. They thought it was worth about $5,000 and they paid him $200 for it. The suspect is known to police for previous thefts, and a felony warrant was issued for his arrest. Spears recovered the violin May 16, and Min, who had gone home to Atlanta, hopped a plane back to Houston that day. She was delighted enough to treat RUPD to coffee and cake as a thank you. This, for me, is the highest-priced item I’ve recovered from a business. You’re getting into the price of cars with a $30,000 violin. It was a big case for us.”

Sgt. Gary Spears
Rice University Police Department