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Antique violin returned to Sidcup owner

PUBLISHED: 09:25 09 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:25 09 October 2014

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A 33 year old man has been charged with theft

A theft victim has been reunited with her cherished violin after officers from Bexley police and Cash Converter staff worked together to track it down.

On July 9 a theft was reported at an address in Penshurst Avenue, Sidcup in which an antique violin was stolen, as well as items of jewellery and iPods.

The violin, made in Germany in 1880, was valued at in excess of £1,000, but had huge sentimental value to its owner, teacher Louise Hope, 29.

Sergeant Mark Rudd and PC Andy Cork worked with the store manager Rhys Woodruff from Cash Converters and found stolen items from Ms Hope’s house had been brought into the store and sold, including the violin. Due to stringent identity checks the store has in place a suspect was arrested on suspicion of theft.

Ms Hope made an impassioned appeal for the return of her violin in the local press and via a huge Facebook appeal and hundreds of emails to orchestras, music shops and music colleges.

Bird College of Dance in Sidcup added all their teachers to the list and made their own appeal.

Paul Balmer, a violin restorer and dealer, who works at the Bird College responded to the appeal as he had bought the violin in good faith from Cash Converters earlier this year and planned to restore it.

A reunion was arranged at Cash Converters in Sidcup, where the violin, which Mr Balmer had retuned, was returned to Louise. Cash Converters in return refunded Mr Balmer the money he had paid for the violin.

Sergeant Mark Rudd from Bexley Police said: “All parties working in partnership ensured that this was a fantastic result for Louise, and it’s great to be able to reunite her with it as it has so much sentimental value, as well as making an arrest in the process”.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with theft, in connection with the incident.

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