A bizarre theft in Brockville has puzzled authorities.
Over the holidays, Brockville police say an historic locomotive bell was stolen near the Brockville railway tunnel.
Police believe someone made off with the old bell sometime between Dec. 24 and Dec. 29.
“Unfortunately, someone saw an opportunity and decided to put some work into it and steal it,” says Staff Sgt. Andrew Harvie with the Brockville Police Service.
The bell was donated to the Communities in Bloom Brockville chapter last year and placed next to the old refurbished railway tunnel.
Hillary Geneau, executive director with Downtown Brockville, says it has significant historical value to the city.
“We do know it was on a train that was on the Brockville to Ottawa line in the 1800s or early 1900s,” says Geneau.
Perhaps the most puzzling factor about the theft is how the thieves made off with the piece of locomotive history, as it was made of mostly iron and weighs somewhere between 250 and 300 pounds.
“It was bolted down, so it’s pretty surprising. It would have taken some time and some effort to get it off the rock,” says Geneau.
Investigators are still looking into exactly when the alleged theft may have occurred by going through surveillance video from the area. Harvie says the thieves could do one of two things with the bell.
“Either it will be sold to collectors or else it would be sold for scrap metal,” he said.
Geneau with Downtown Brockville, however, says the light at the end of the tunnel is the support they have seen from the public.
“It’s been really heartening to see the rally that the people have had sharing the post, so there is a good side to it,” says Geneau.
Police are asking anyone with information about the alleged theft to call the Brockville Police Service at 613-342-0127 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).