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Valuable 'Landolfi' violin recovered after being left on Munich commuter train

A stolen 'Landolfi' violin has been returned after a man nabbed it from a commuter train in Munich. The owner had accidentally left the valuable instrument in a luggage rack before getting off the train.

A violin worth 100,000 euros ($112,800) left behind and subsequently snatched from a local train in the southern German city of Munich has been returned, police said on Saturday.

The 35-year-old suspect who took the unattended instrument in mid-April turned himself in to the authorities on Friday, shortly after police released pictures of the man to the public.

One of the man's friends told him that his picture had been made public and that he was the subject of a manhunt.

The 250-year-old "Landolfi" violin - worth a total of 120,000 euros including its bow, rosin and shoulder rest - was found undamaged in the man's apartment during a police search, authorities reported. The man claimed he had no idea how much the instrument was worth.

The suspect now faces charges of theft and fraud.

Left on a luggage rack

A 37-year-old woman transporting the instrument placed the instrument on an overhead luggage rack and forgot to retrieve it again before departing the train.

Security camera footage from the Munich train showed the man opening the violin case and quickly departing the train with it. When he discovered the violin on the train, the suspect told police he simply "exploited the opportunity."

Strings in place

The 65-year-old owner of the violin is the mother-in-law of the woman who left it on the train, police said.

The owner said she felt a "wave of relief" on seeing the undamaged "Landolfi" violin once more when she and her son came to inspect the instrument.

They are unable to take home their valuable violin just yet as it is being held for evidence by the public prosecutor.

The police thanked the media for quickly circulating the information and images as well as citizens who called to give information about the suspect.

rs/jm (AFP, dpa)

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