2006_03_violin.jpgThe police and feds busted a crew of Eastern European criminals yesterday who operated out of Brooklyn. The
Daily News calls them "Stringfellas" because one of their schemes was to sell a stolen Stradivarius violin and "then rob the buyer." That would be an ambitious but classic (no pun intended) cycle of crime: Claim to sell stuff only to pocket the cash and then take the object back for another "sale" - we just like that coveted musical instruments would have been used in the deals. The feds had been watching the gang, which dabbled in extortion, drugs and weapons trafficking as wells as stolen IDs, for over a year. The Brooklyn US Attorney said, "No effort will be spared to ensure that criminal groups like the Greenpoint crew do not gain a foothold in our communities." But there may have been someone in the NYPD who helped the gang (many gang members hung out at the Europa Club, which is near the 94th Precinct).