The Case of the Missing Violin

Status: False theft report
A San Francisco woman has admitted to sending police on a wild goose chase to find a $175,000 violin that she claimed had been stolen from her car. She really does own such a violin, but it doesn't appear to have been missing. It's not clear why she said it was. Here are some details from the AP article:

The sad tale of a San Francisco music student who had a $175,000 18th century violin swiped from her towed car was a fabrication, authorities confirmed Friday... Rhee-Nakajima told police Wednesday that the violin -- along with her wallet and iPod -- were gone when she picked up her vehicle from a private tow company. She said she had locked the instrument in the trunk of her car, which had been parked too long at a supermarket parking lot in the city's Fillmore district and was towed... On Thursday, she appeared on various television stations, pleading with any members of the public who knew the whereabouts of the violin to contact police. That plea turned out to be hollow.

If I owned a $175,000 violin, I'd be a nervous wreck. I wouldn't even want it in my house, in case of a break-in. The obvious thing to suspect in this case is that the student was involved in an insurance scam, but as the article notes, insurance wouldn't cover a violin left in an unattended car. So the motive for the false theft report seems to be a mystery.


Posted on Tue Jan 03, 2006


Claiming that a $175,000 anything has been stolen from you, before you were obliged to pay for it, seems like a good move to me.

Assuming she wouldn't have to pay for it if really had been stolen from her...

Maybe that was her plan, and then she found out she would in fact have to pay for it, so she thought better of it.
Posted by Oberon  in  Utah  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  12:42 AM
Every time I read a story like this, I am instantly confronted with two possibilities...

1.) Desperately in search of and in NEED of their 15 minutes of fame...
2.) Before these people go on their quest for their fifteen minutes of fame, don't they realise how idiotic they'll be perceived as by the rest of the world (including the next ones to try and pull off their story) when the truth is revealed.
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  04:51 AM
What may have happened was that the student thought she had left the violin in the trunk, and panicked when it wasn't there. After she found it somewhere else, she was too sheepish to admit her mistake. Sounds like something I'd do.
Posted by Matt  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  08:44 AM
If she was a homeowner, or had renter's insurance - some policies would cover personal items stolen from an auto - if the items were not "auto" related. She'd still be responsible for her deductible, and that's why most people let the items go and never file with homeowners...A $300 computer item, a $200 leather jacket, and a $400 purse might SEEM like items you want to replace, but if you have a $1,000're still replacing everything yourself.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  09:05 AM
My guess would be that she was pissed that her card had been towed, and wanted to get the tow company in trouble for stealing something out of the car. And then, either had an attack of conscience, or realized it would going to backfire on her.
Posted by Terry Austin  in  Surf City USA  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  09:20 AM
By her age one can assume that senility and dementia are not part of the equation, but we are not told what she was smoking at the time of her report tongue rolleye
Posted by Sir Trev  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  11:34 AM
"The Case of the Missing Violin"

Good headline ... pun intended?
Posted by Big Gary in North America  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  12:11 PM
I'd be lying if I said I realized the pun when I first wrote the headline, but I'll take credit for it anyway. wink
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Jan 04, 2006  at  03:22 PM
I saw a srory about this. She had it on consignment and was trying to steal it.
Posted by wdlevy  in  honolulu  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  06:43 PM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.