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Music community on notice after ‘targeted’ theft of historic $70k violin

3AW Breakfast

A Melbourne music teacher says she feels like she’s lost a limb after her precious 112-year-old violin was stolen during an aggravated burglary.

Jenny Occleshaw told Kate and Quarters on 3AW Breakfast she was asleep in her Oakleigh home on Tuesday when the thieves broke in and stole the precious violin as well as several other items.

The A E Smith antique violin, made in 1908, is worth about $70,000.

The other stolen instruments, listed below, bring the total value of the heist to about $100,000.

Mrs Occleshaw said the violin was not insured.

“I couldn’t afford the premiums for that violin because I was only working part-time and it was just horrendous,” she said.

Police believe the theft was targeted.

“It’s very hard to go around pointing fingers at people,” Mrs Occleshaw said.

“Music is a very small puddle in Melbourne and I couldn’t imagine any Melbourne musician would possibly do that sort of thing, but police did say it’s targeted attack and it’s possible they were stolen to order.”

Click PLAY to hear more from Jenny on 3AW Breakfast


  • An A E Smith 1908 antique violin
  • Roderich Paesold Gold-Mounted violin bow
  • J S Tubbs silver-mounted antique bow
  • 2002 KG intruments 15 inch hand made viola
  • 2002 KG instruments (full size) hand made cello
  • 2 German Trade ¾ size violin
  • Black Chines bow case, containing 6 violin bows
  • Carbon fibre cello bow
  • Mother of pearl mounted wooden cello bow

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or file a confidential report at

3AW Breakfast