Cultural Cocktail Hour

Art world crime: In the news: Joshua Bell impersonator robs hotel room of celebrity violinist

Throwback Tuesday to an Art Crime from 2012

Art World Crime:

Joshua Bell Impersonator robs hotel room of world-famous Violinist


Leticia Marie Sanchez




So while Joshua Bell is performing the Brahms Concerto with the London Philharmonic in Zaragoza, Spain, a man goes to the front desk of his hotel claiming to be the world-famous violinist.

The Hotel clerk does not bother checking the guy’s ID. (Ever try Google Image, buddy?)

The hotel hands over the key to Joshua Bell’s room to a man off the street while poor Bell fiddles his heart out on stage.

The thief no doubt could not wait to get his sticky fingers on Bell’s 1713 Stradivarius, worth about 4 million dollars. But, unlike the thief, Bell was actually working that night and had his trusty Stradivarius with him.

Instead of leaving the room, the thief decides to indulge in a hot, steamy shower in Bell’s room. I suppose that once he saw that the hotel bathroom was stocked with lavender-scented mini soaps, he may as well try to get some aromatherapy out of it. 

You would think that sudsing up in the shower of the Musical Director of St. Martin’s in the Fields would be enough. But instead, the thief wrapped a towel around his waist, called the front desk, and asked them to help him open the safe. Who needs a Rat Pack of code-breaking accomplices when you can outsource all your safe-cracking needs to the dimwits in hotel security?

The whiz kids in the hotel security team proceeded to assist the half-naked thief in his quest to crack the safe of the high-profile celebrity whose safe they were hired to protect. They never once checked his ID. 

Okay, so to board a plane from Duquesne to Hibbert’s Gore you need to show a driver’s license, lose the overpriced sunblock, and your Red Velvet Cupcake, but to access the private safe of one of the world’s most famous violinists, all you need to do is ask. Duly noted.

 After his refreshing shower, the thief made off with Joshua Bell’s laptop, cash, and a $38,000 watch.

No word yet if the thief stole any Sangría or Croquetes de Jamon from the mini-fridge.                             For the news story, please see:

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