Theft alert: A Gofriller violin is stolen on Gatwick Express

Theft alert: A Gofriller violin is stolen on Gatwick Express


norman lebrecht

March 31, 2017

Carol Slater, a London violinist, had her 1700 Gofriller, in a dark red case, taken from a Gatwick Express train at 0630 last Friday.

British Transport Police today issued this picture of a woman they want to interview in connection with the theft.

They have also issued this image of the stolen violin.


Anyone with information, please call the police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016, quoting ref. no. 116 24/03/2017.


  • Nick says:

    No doubt there will be a lot of ‘how dreadful’ and sympathetic posts. Without knowing the detail, however, I can’t help but say, “Not again!” How many times have we read about valuable instruments being stolen because their owners do not treat them as just that – valuable? If you have a bag containing £150,000 in cash, there is no way you put it on the luggage rack or under a seat or forget to take it with you to the washroom. At least that bag is likely to have no markings on it, though, to suggest its contents. A violin case makes it obvious what is inside. Yet a violin – presumably in that case with a strap – is easy to keep around one’s body at all times, but many seem to think that is simply not necessary.

    If we later discover that there was violence or something similar involved – then naturally I shall apologise.

  • V.Lind says:

    Well, I did not stop, because I thought exactly the same thing as Nick: “Not again.” And while one is not entirely unsympathetic, all I can deduce is that the violin-playing portion of the travelling public is apparently the thickest in the world. We have heard a plethora of excuses, which might be why no explanation was proffered here; Mr. Lebrecht is universally on the side of the “victim.” Well, in fact I imagine we all are, but a lot of us are getting pretty tired of “victims” whose own carelessness seems to be the co-author of their misfortunes.

    Seems like the police, whose views on the frequency of this sort of occurrence would be interesting to hear, are well on the case this time, so I hope it all ends well. But do none of these musicians have greater retention capabilities than hummingbirds? There is obviously a market in stolen violins, especially the great ones. That usually gets thieves to be very alert. What a pity the musicians seem so incapable of the same alertness to their valuable property, which in the vast majority of cases is not their own.

    • me! says:

      somehow I bet these musicians don’t routinely lose their other valuables (luggage, cash, shopping purchases), but would be interesting to know

    • John says:

      Carol has been duly scolded by you and thanks you.

      • me! says:

        Hopefully she’ll change her ways and start proselytizing to other musicians on how to care for their instruments!

  • Gerald Martin says:

    That police picture of the violin doesn’t really help.