A stolen violin crafted before the U.S. Revolutionary War and worth more than $250,000 was unknowingly purchased by a Massachusetts pawn shop -- for just $50.
A new employee at the LBC Boutique and Loan in Somerville, located directly northwest of Boston, did not realize he was dealing with a very special violin: a Federico Gagliano hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind violin dating back to 1759.
While at $50 it was a steal for the pawn shop, the violin was also a real steal -- it was taken from a nearby house that was recently broken into.
“We got a call from a detective from the Somerville Police Department,” Dylan McDermitt of LBC Boutique and Loan told Boston 25. “This particular [seller] had no criminal background history.”
He said the shop is required by law to hold pieces for 30 days in case items are discovered to be stolen property.
The violin was on its way to its rightful owner and McDermitt says his shop is going to change its practices so similar incidents don't occur.
"We’re going to start asking the customers to play the violins to make sure that we know it’s theirs," he said.