Joshua Bell Robbed

March 4, 2012 at 05:29 PM ·

"Fortunately, the thief did NOT have a chance to jack Mr. Bell’s priceless 1713 Stradivarius violin -- because Bell was using it at his performance. "

Replies (22)

March 4, 2012 at 05:52 PM · Unfortunately, no one is safe from the criminal psychopaths of the world. You might be interested in the following story.

Several years ago, when I was the Associate Director of our fee-for-service career center located here at the University (IIT, in Chicago), a young lady came into our waiting room and was visibly upset, shaken, and crying.

She said she had been mugged right outside the building. When we asked if she was hurt, she said no, but that she felt terrible that she hurt her attacker.

It turns out that she had a black belt in Karate, but had never had to use it before. When the mugger (about 5 times her size) grabbed her, she really did a job on him and had him down on the ground in about 10 seconds.

The Chicago police and our campus police got there within seconds, and the guy was still on the ground, writhing in pain.

We tried to console this young lady and let her know that what she did was quite OK.

Sometimes the good guys do win.

March 4, 2012 at 06:15 PM · I think that in Joshua Bell's case the hotel and its security staff have some explaining to do, not just to him but to any insurance company involved.

The thief was dressed only in a towel when the security guy turned up? There should be DNA evidence available.

I suppose this sort of theft is a risk that goes with the territory if you've got a big public profile and your whereabouts are known on specific dates and times.

March 4, 2012 at 07:01 PM · My heart dropped when I read the title " Joshua Bell Robbed" For he was my favorite violinist and the thought of his Stradivari being stolen. Luckily but still unfortunately the thief took a watch. But why a laptop? Stalking Joshua Bell? Seems to me like one on those teenage girls stalking Justin Beiber.

March 4, 2012 at 07:27 PM · I'm very glad his violin is safe. *whew* And I'm sorry his laptop was stolen, I'd be royally ticked off if that happened to me.

But seriously, does anyone 'need' a $38,000 watch? And even if you wanted to treat yourself to something special, that still seems excessive to me...

...but then again, that's not the point of the story, is it?

March 4, 2012 at 08:16 PM · The staff member could have asked the guy what he had put in the safe, before opening the safe,just to verify. And ask for photo ID. Should be a standard rule in these cases.

Quite a brazen and risky thing to do, this bath towel ruse!

March 4, 2012 at 09:54 PM · Good for that karate woman!

I'm glad Bell and his violin are OK. I met him once briefly after a concert of his. Ironically, his violin had once been stolen from Huberman out of Carnegie Hall!

March 4, 2012 at 09:54 PM · Good for that karate woman!

I'm glad Bell and his violin are OK. I met him once briefly after a concert of his. Ironically, his violin had once been stolen from Huberman out of Carnegie Hall!

March 4, 2012 at 10:31 PM · Who needs a $38,000 watch? The artists and craftsmen who work hard for years to build something of beauty and function. It appears that Mr.Bell has the skill and wherewithal to pay for it himself with his own money. Thank goodness he didn't enslave someone to make it for him nor did he steal it or expropriate it from someone.

Thank goodness for rich people. Where would art be without them? Who needs artists?

March 4, 2012 at 10:43 PM · I'm just glad they didn't get his cake of Baker's Rosin. I've heard the waiting list for that stuff is so long, it could have really disrupted his career.

Seriously, with the violin and the performer safe, I don't know what it adds to the story to know that the victim was a violinist. Lots of robbery victims fare much worse.

March 5, 2012 at 12:27 AM · I'm just wondering how anyone manages to pack more than $38,000 worth of components into something as small as a watch!

March 5, 2012 at 01:50 AM · People who don't play the violin wonder why a carved wooden box with strings is worth 100 times what that watch cost. The value of any thing is determined simply by what the market can bear. Mr. Bell's watch is good for the Gross Domestic Product.

March 5, 2012 at 02:04 AM · Corwin, Joshua Bell did not "pay for it himself with his own money." The watch was a gift from Breguet.

March 5, 2012 at 02:37 AM · He did pay for the watch. It wouldn't have been given to him without his sweat in building a career that is followed and a reputation that draws attention. And because it is a commercial gift he undoubtedly had to pay taxes on it. Strictly speaking it wasn't a gift because he performed for it and commercially endorsed it.

March 5, 2012 at 03:50 AM · Many years ago I was traveling by train to Chicago. I had a few pieces of luggage and one small leather carrying case. I notcied it missing and told the conductor.

The conductor spotted the case and the person who stole it was arrested. The case contained shoe polish and a few dirty rags. The stealer got 2 years in jail for something worth less than $2.00

March 5, 2012 at 08:22 AM · I'm so glad his watch was stolen (Sorry Mr Bell)... this just proves what I was ALWAYS saying to everybody. DON'T WEAR A WATCH WHILE PERFORMING. (screams in frustration)


There has been cases of Strad thefts, though.

Ah well. Better than falling on your own instrument and smashing it into pieces.

March 5, 2012 at 02:31 PM · I'm confused...he wasn't wearing the watch while performing...although it would have been fun seeing someone steal it off his wrist while he was in the middle of some virtuostic fingerwork...;)

I love my watch...Timex...dependable and very pretty (with crystals even!)...I'm sure someone put some artistry into it. I even bought it myself...with money I earned...little as that may be...;)

March 5, 2012 at 02:40 PM · If Joshua Bell isn't wearing his watch while performing, neither should anyone. Case closed.

March 5, 2012 at 03:55 PM · Legally - the hotel is in a LOAD TON of trouble. I can just imagine the lawyers lining up to take this case. Slam dunk.

---Ann Marie

March 5, 2012 at 04:17 PM · I suspect that hotel will cover everything very quietly. They'd have to be out of their minds to do otherwise.

March 6, 2012 at 04:48 PM · As ridiculous as $38K might seem for a watch, the companies that charge that much are profitable, all while sponsoring yachting events, sports, and even THE ARTS!

I think the issue isn't that he has something that extravagant (hey, some people collect supercars, right?), but that a hotel would be that incompetent! Particularly if somebody just had to be let into a room! I'm sure the hotel will be very quietly reimbursing him or replacing everything, they've gotten enough bad press and liability here, and it's certainly not in Mr. Bell's best interest to seem litigious.

March 8, 2012 at 06:50 PM · What a ridiculous story...and something doesn't ring true with the events listed. I'm skeptical...

March 8, 2012 at 08:28 PM · $38K for a wrist watch? I know plenty of people, myself included, who would happily pay that for 1 lb of assorted pieces of wood and a few lengths of gut (assuming of course that they had access to that sort of cash).

"... something doesn't ring true ...". That is a possibility, but there are thieves around who can be very convincing con artists - and marry that up with a security guy who hasn't quite got his eye on the ball. Anyway it's a dead cert that not all the details of the "event" have been published (they never are until the alleged perp appears before a judge in court).

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