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November 17, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Century-old Monroe church bell found — in pieces

A 34-year-old Snohomish woman was arrested Thursday in connection with the theft of a nearly 100-year-old Monroe church bell that had been broken into pieces for scrap metal.

An arrest has been made in the theft of a large bell that was recently stolen from St. Mary of the Valley Catholic Church in Monroe. (c/o Monroe Police Dept.)

Monroe police said the woman worked for a recycling business in Woodinville, and had purchased 320 pounds of brass pieces for more than $700 from a female and two males on Oct. 28.

The bell — made in 1913 — was recently stolen from St. Mary of the Valley Catholic Church. It had been cut into smaller pieces and its raised lettering obliterated. Church officials identified the remnants on Wednesday, police said. About half the bell is still missing.

KOMO TV reported earlier this week that a Boy Scout had been planning to build a tower to house the bell as part of his Eagle Scout project.

The Snohomish woman told police she didn’t know the bell had been stolen. She was being booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of trafficking stolen property and possession of stolen property, police said.

Debbie Willis, administrative director of the police department, said additional arrests may be made. The value of the bell wasn’t known, she said.

The King County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Monroe police at (360) 794-6300.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: church bell, King County Sheriff's Office, monroe

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