Art thief among 3 detained in heist
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The mystery of what happened to a multimillion-dollar Stradivarius violin stolen in a stun gun attack was answered Thursday when Milwaukee police recovered the instrument and blamed the heist at least in part on an art thief who once stole a statue from a gallery and then tried to sell it back.
The violin, built in 1715 by the renowned Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari and valued at $5 million, was found hidden in a suitcase in the attic of a man who police said was unaware the instrument was in his home.
Three people were arrested in the case, and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said there was no evidence of other “shadowy” figures from the art world behind the theft.
The violin, which police said appeared to be in good condition, was stolen late last month from a concert violinist who was shocked with a stun gun. His attacker grabbed the violin and hopped into a waiting vehicle.
Police traced the stun gun to Universal Knowledge Allah, a 36-year-old barber, while a citizen’s tip led them to Salah Jones, the 41-year-old man convicted of stealing a $25,000 statue from a gallery at Milwaukee’s posh Pfister Hotel in 1995.
Officers had the men under surveillance before arresting them Monday, along with a 32-year-old woman police have not yet identified.
Stewart now writing fiction
NEW YORK (AP) — Best-selling “The Drunken Botanist” author Amy Stewart is now writing novels.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced Thursday that Stewart will write a series of fiction books based on the real life of Constance Kopp, a female deputy sheriff in early 20th century New Jersey.
The first novel, “Girl Waits With a Gun,” is scheduled for 2015.
The publisher said Stewart learned of Kopp while researching “The Drunken Botanist,” a history of the natural sources of alcoholic drinks released last year.
Stewart’s other books include “From the Ground Up,” “Wicked Bugs” and “Flower Confidential.”
Carter to open play about ‘Camp David’
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, plan to join the premiere of the new play “Camp David” by Lawrence Wright that opens in April in Washington.
The Arena Stage announced Thursday the Carters will serve as honorary chairs of the red-carpet premiere of “Camp David.”
It’s a fundraising event scheduled April 3 to support programs at the theater.
“Camp David” follows the pursuit of peace in the Middle East for 13 days during Carter’s presidency, when he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.