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Fiddlers caught with stolen violin

A valuable violin that was stolen from its Australian musician owner as she travelled on the Vienna Underground has been recovered after police arrested a gang of crooks at the weekend.

The violin estimated to be worth 44,000 euros was the property of the Australian violinist Emma West, who said that she thought she would never see it again after it was swiped by crooks on the Underground.

The musician with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra said: "I am really happy that I've got the instrument back in my hands again – I really didn't think I was ever going to see it again."

She had been travelling on the city's public transport system on 15 September when she took her eyes off of the instrument for a second, only to have it grabbed by the thief. Police said the person that stole it were part of a professional band that had been stealing from tourists. When police swooped to arrest them they searched the flats of the gang members, and recovered the violin in one of the properties.

Emma West teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium and tutors for the Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra, and the Riverina Summer School for Strings.

Prior to her appointment as Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Sydney Symphony in 1997, she played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. From July 2004 to July 2006 she was Acting Principal Second Violin of the Sydney Symphony.

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