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No leads in case of stolen bell

Updated: Monday, July 7 2014, 05:24 PM EDT


It's a scene being played out across the country - desperate thieves stealing anything to get cash.

Local police say manhole covers, grave markers and copper wire are being targeted. Now, a Wheeling businessman is hoping to get answers after a bell with sentimental value was taken from him.

Neal Warren of Design & Image Studios at 535 Fulton St. in Wheeling, said the bell is an antique over 100 years old.

Warren said just a couple weeks ago the bell was taken from in front of his business. He said neighbors saw nothing and police are investigating.

"A lot of people are upset by it and I have talked to people in the community and they can't believe someone would be desperate enough to do this," said Warren. "It was like a landmark and I would tell people who have never been to my studio just look for the former little church with the large bell in the front of it."

Warren is offering a $250 reward and said that's more than they would get from a scrapyard.

He also said he thinks the theft was planned because the bell weighed more than 300 pounds.

"Someone would have had to have stopped with three or four guys, pretty strong guys, and my feeling is they probably scoped it out by foot because just driving by you wouldn't have known you could lift it off the cradle," said Warren.

Warren said police told him that copper theft has become a real issue.

"Any reputable scrap metal dealer would know that these things are stolen and not to take it, but somehow these people are able to get rid of it from an unknown source," said Warren.

If you have any information you are urged to contact the Wheeling Police Department at 304-234-3664 or call the NEWS9 Lauttamus Crimebusters Tipline at 1-800-862-BUST or email crimebusters@wtov.com.

No leads in case of stolen bell

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