Music teacher reunited with her stolen car and beloved 87-year-old violin

Music teacher reunited with her stolen car and beloved 87-year-old violin

Musician Gleny Rae has been reunited with her beloved 87-year-old German-made Roth violin more than 24 hours after it was stolen from outside a restaurant in Alice Springs.

“I have to say that it was directly attributable to the ABC story,” she said.

Ms Rae said that the local man who found her car, a 1999 Toyota troop carrier, was working in his yard with his sons when he heard some activity in a street close to the CBD.

“(He) went out had a look and sure enough there were three young fellas mucking around,” she said.

“As soon as they were interrupted they did the runner… But of course, they got away.”

The gentlemen who only would like to be known as Stu, realized that Ms Rae’s high-top Troopy was like a second home as it was adorned with photos of family and friends.

“Then he saw the violin. And he was like, ‘Oh, somebody is going to be in deep distress’,” she said.

desperate to return

Gleny Rae, her 1935 Roth violin and Stu — the gentleman who found the car and violin.(Supplied: Gleny Rae)

Ms Rae said that Stu did everything to try and return the vehicle and the instrument to the rightful owner, including reporting it to the police.

“He was desperately trying to find some way of contacting me.

“He ended up contacting me through the ABC Alice Springs Facebook page,” she said.

Ms Rae said she could not believe the news.

“My heart just about jumped out of my chest,

“I just felt this surge of adrenaline and excitement and hope through my body,” she said.

When reunited with her “best friend”, Ms Rae said she checked the condition of the violin and serenaded Stu with an Irish jig to reflect her celebratory mood and relief at finding the instrument she had owned for 35 years.

“Stu is a very humble gentleman… and just a brilliant person.

“I am so lucky; I am the luckiest person on this planet,” she said.


Ms Rae said that she had assumed the car had been hot-wired in record time before learning what happened.

“Stu found a bunch of old Toyota keys just on the ground,” she said.

Ms Rae said the thieves had broken a window before trying random keys.

“Try this one, try this one, try this one — bingo. It starts and off they go,” she said.

Worn-out keys

Rick Hall is an Alice Springs mechanic and has been working in car yards all his life.

Dual cab LandCruiser
Dual cab LandCruiser utes are popular both as work and recreational vehicles. (Supplied: JP Engineering)

He said that he commonly uses older keys in Toyota vehicles up until 2005, especially when presented with cars with missing keys.

“Old Toyota keys get worn out and old ignition barrels also get worn out,

“You do find keys that aren’t necessarily the key for that particular car but if it is close enough to the original key, it will work,” he said.

Mr Hall was surprised to hear what had happened.

“Where did they get access to a whole bunch of keys?” he said.

His advice is to retrofit a kill switch.

“It’s the easiest solution and will only cost a couple of hundred dollars,” he said.