Police: Thieves stole historic 200-pound bell by hauling it over frozen lake


There is a $500 reward available for information about the theft of a historic bell from a backyard in Independence.

The 26-inch, 200-pound cast steel bell is estimated to be worth $1,500 to $3,000, the West Hennepin Public Safety Department said on Facebook Monday.

Officials believe the bell was stolen in late February, with the thieves transporting the Blymyer Norton cast steel school bell from the home over the ice on Lake Sarah, the post says.

Chief Gary Kroells told KTSP the thieves likely made off with the bell in a vehicle or snowmobile across the lake, noting the bell was first reported missing March 7.

It's believed two thieves were involved, and because they took the bell and its metal cradle, they may want to sell or display it instead of melting it down for scrap, the Star Tribune reports.

The bell is estimated to be between 125 and 150 years old.

the bell was used at the Wagner School between 1880 to 1921 to alert people on Lake Sarah to approaching bad weather, the Star Tribune says. It was also used by the former Shady Beach Resort to call people off the lake and guests to dinner in the 1930s, KSTP notes.

Another historic bell was stolen earlier this year from a church in Le Sueur County. That bell also had a $500 reward out for information, but pieces of it were later recovered from a scrapyard.

If anyone has information about the "important piece of local history," they're asked to call West Hennepin Public Safety at 763-479-0500.

Next Up

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.


McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

minnesota zoo

Minnesota Zoo launches activities to get people embracing nature

The zoo is hosting a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a "Do the Zoo, Not Zoom Day."


100 cemetery vases spirited away by thieves

Authorities in Crystal are trying to catch thieves who have stolen more than 100 bronze vases valued between $200 and $500 each from graves at the Glen Haven Memorial Garden cemetery.

Thieves spirit away 360-pound pumpkin

Police in Merrill, Wis., are chasing the thieves who somehow – and for some unknown reason – stole a 360-pound pumpkin from Gail's Place restaurant this week, CityPages reports. The owners are even more eager to recover a family quilt that had been placed over the giant gourd to protect it from frost.