Sabina Rhee-Nakajima, 23, initially told police that the instrument was taken from the trunk of her car, which she said was towed after being illegally parked in a Safeway lot.
However, the violin was spotted December 30 by a passer-by on the steps of a church in San Bruno, about 10 miles south of San Francisco.
Police have not disclosed whether they believe Rhee-Nakajima wanted to steal the violin or if she will be charged with a crime. There was also no word on where the violin had been before appearing on the church steps, but police did confirm that Rhee-Nakajima had filed a false police report.
The violin, along with three bows, was recovered undamaged. It had been on loan to her from a "prominent musician," and Nakajima was allegedly considering purchasing the instrument.
Appearing distraught after the purported theft, Nakajima had lamented, "It's as if you know you have the perfect life partner. It's as if I found someone like that."