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Thief who sold violin to pawn shop for $50 could have done better. It’s worth $200,000

A stolen antique violin sold to a Somerville, Massachusetts, pawn shop for $50 is worth at least $200,000, police say. Two bows sold with the Ferdinando Gagliano instrument from 1759 are worth $20,000 each.
A stolen antique violin sold to a Somerville, Massachusetts, pawn shop for $50 is worth at least $200,000, police say. Two bows sold with the Ferdinando Gagliano instrument from 1759 are worth $20,000 each. WFXT

When a young woman brought in a violin to pawn, employees at La Chic Boutique in Somerville, Massachusetts, didn’t hesitate to hand over $50 for it, reported WCVB.

“It was great,” employee Dylan McDermitt told WBZ-TV. “I didn’t think anything of it.”

The shop put the violin and two bows sold with it into storage for 30 days and ran a routine police check to ensure it wasn’t stolen, according to the station. The news employees got back was astounding.

Not only had the violin been reported stolen, it was a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted Ferdinando Gagliano instrument dating to 1759, reported WFXT.

And it’s valued at anywhere from $200,000 to $250,000 — reports vary. The two bows sold with the violin are worth $20,000 each, reported The Boston Globe.

Ferdinando Gagliano was part of a famous family of Italian instrument makers, according to Tarisio Fine Instruments and Bows.

The violin’s being returned to its rightful owner and police are investigating the theft, reported WCVB.

”We’re going to start asking the customers to play the violins to make sure that we know it’s theirs,” McDermitt told.WBZ-TV.

Sometimes plans don't quite work out as intended. Take a look at some would-be criminals who could have used a practice run or two.

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