2.6-Ton Bell Snatched from SF Church

Could be related to recent copper thefts in the area.

By Mike Anderson
|  Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011  |  Updated 3:08 PM PDT
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Metal thieves stole a huge bell that was sitting outside the church.

Metal thieves stole a huge bell that was sitting outside the church.

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No one knows exactly how or when, but someone managed to steal a historic 5,300-pound bell from St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.

The cathedral on Gough Street had the 4-foot-tall bell displayed in its parking lot near a garden area. It was reported missing last Sunday, but no one knows for sure when the thing actually disappeared.

"Nobody can swear on a stack of Bibles when they can last remember seeing it," police Inspector Brian Danker said.

The bell was originally purchased from the McShane Bell Foundry in Maryland before it was shipped to the cathedral in 1889. It survived the 1906 earthquake and a fire that burned down the original cathedral in the 1960s.

Made of 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin, the bell could be worth up to $75,000.

Investigators think the bell could be related to a recent string of copper thefts in the area.

Anyone with information about the missing bell can call the Police Department's Northern Station at (415) 553-1563. The cathedral is offering a reward if the bell is returned.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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