POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Quick-thinking staff at a Pompano Beach music store prevented a thief from making off with a violin priced at nearly $7,000 in a daring morning incident.
The thwarted theft occurred Wednesday at Fiddlershop, located at 2703 Gateway Drive.
The subject, seen on surveillance cameras dressed in all black, had previously targeted the store, according to store owner Pierre Holstein.
During Wednesday’s incident, the thief, accompanied by a second individual wearing a colorful bucket hat, entered the store.
“Well he rang the doorbell, he came in and asked to see some instruments and violins,” said Holstein, “and Charlie, who was helping him, asked him what kind of instrument he was looking for, and he was kind of stumbling and didn’t know what to say, and he said ‘My daughter.’”
Wednesday’s incident marks the second time the store has been targeted by the same individual.
The initial incident occurred in May, when the suspect stole a guitar worth nearly $1,000. During that incident, the thief struggled with an employee but managed to escape with only one of the stolen guitars.
Recognizing the suspect as he returned to the scene, store personnel confronted him, determined not to let him escape with the valuable Ming Jiang Zhu 925 violin.
“I said, ‘You look familiar,’ and he’s like, ‘What do you mean?’ And I said, ‘You mind taking off your hat?’ And he goes, ‘What a question to ask,’” said Holstein. “Eventually I said to him, ‘You’re not leaving here without that instrument. If you put it down, I’ll let you get out of here.’”
The vigilant staff successfully wrestled the violin away from the thief, while another employee stood nearby with a baseball bat in hand. The two subjects left the store empty-handed, departing with laughter, according to an employee.
In response to the incident, Fiddlershop has implemented stricter security measures, moving their instruments behind locked doors and switching to appointment-only visits.
“I guess they feel like they have nothing to lose. I guess they get away with stuff so much in their lives, and they don’t have anything to live for. I don’t know,” said Holstein.
The Fiddlershop employees suspect that this serial thief may have targeted other music stores in the area as well. Surveillance footage from a Fort Lauderdale music store captured a similar subject stealing guitars in July.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating Wednesday morning’s incident.
If you have any information on this theft or the subject’s whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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