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In brief: Student reunited with missing violin

Philadelphia – A rare violin worth $172,000 that was mistakenly left onboard a Boston-to-Philadelphia bus has been found and returned to the music student who left it there.

Megabus USA director Bryony Chamberlain said Friday that a cleaning crew recovered the instrument, which had been left in an overhead bin earlier this week. The New England Conservatory student got on a Megabus in Boston with the 176-year-old violin but got off without it late Tuesday, police said.

The 19-year-old student, Muchen Hsieh, told investigators that she left the instrument in an overhead bin and only realized she had forgotten it after she had been picked up. The violin was lent to her by the Chi Mei Culture Foundation in her native Taiwan while she studies in the U.S.

Trump no longer claims GOP

Washington – Donald Trump is declaring his independence.

After years as a registered Republican, the outspoken real estate mogul has filed paperwork to become an unaffiliated voter in his home state of New York. Trump filed the paperwork making the change Thursday, a move prompted by his stated interest in mounting a third-party presidential run in 2012.

“Mr. Trump has said for almost a year that if he is not satisfied with who the Republican candidate is, he may elect to run as an independent,” spokesman Michael Cohen said Friday. “This change in party affiliation certainly preserves his right to do so, after the finale of ‘The Apprentice’ in May.”

‘Geezer’ persona may be a ruse

Los Angeles – Investigators once thought the “Geezer Bandit” was at least 60 years old. Now they’re not so sure – unless he discovered the Fountain of Youth after his most recent holdup, when he was seen sprinting across a parking lot.

Witnesses also said he might have been wearing a mask.

The new evidence suggests the elderly-looking thief may not be in the sunset of his life after all but rather a younger person trying to throw authorities off his trail.

The robber has struck 16 California banks, from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, during the past two years.

But the bandit may be slipping. On Dec. 2, after pulling out a handgun and threatening to shoot a teller, he became disoriented when a security dye-pack exploded as he was leaving the bank.

Video surveillance shows he tried to grab the money and his belongings, then ran away and wasn’t caught. A day planner used to conceal the gun was recovered and is being examined by investigators.


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