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Men Try to Peddle Stolen Violin in Wrong Place

January 8, 1987

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Two men who allegedly stole a $20,000 violin hit a sour note when they tried to sell the instrument at a music shop where the owner’s mother worked.

After the two men showed up with the violin, store owner Herbert Bagwell tried to delay the men until police arrived. When he handed the men a check for $500 and took the violin, he told them he knew the instrument was stolen.

The two men fled from the store, but one was arrested after a chase by employees and police. The second escaped.

Vera Reaves, whose son plays with the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, said she answered a call Monday from a man inquiring about selling a violin. Mrs. Reaves said she soon realized the man was describing a nearly 60-year-old violin owned by her son, Michael.

Reaves, a 17-year member of the orchestra, said the instrument was stolen Saturday while his family was moving into a new house.

″It’s hard to believe,″ Bagwell said afterward. ″The most unlikely place for these guys to go to sell it was here.″

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