Antique violin is recovered

Times Staff Writer

A valuable 18th century violin -- stolen Sunday from the car of a 20-year-old music student while the vehicle was parked outside a Pavilions grocery store in West Hills -- has been found and turned in to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The 1742 Sanctus Seraphin violin, as well as an 1830 Francois Tourte bow that was also inside the violin case, was returned Wednesday night by a citizen who said he spotted the instrument in its cloth carrier while he was walking his dog. Police have not disclosed the location but say it was near the site of the theft.

The violin and bow are being held by the department’s art theft detail.

The instrument and bow had been on loan to Lindsay Deutsch, a student at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, from Los Angeles philanthropist Peter Mandell. The insurance policy on the items did not cover theft from an unattended vehicle, Mandell said.

Mandell, who regularly lends his collection of about 18 fine string instruments to young artists, valued the violin at $350,000 and the bow at $160,000.


“The police are taking fingerprints, but I’m just so relieved,” Deutsch said Thursday. “The last few days have been horrific. It’s just a life-changing thing.”

She added that she thought it would “be a good idea” not to leave the violin in her car again. “It’s usually with me 24/7. I track it tirelessly in airports and everywhere else. It just takes one time for something really tragic to happen.”