Crime

The 70-pound bell at McLane Elementary has gone missing. Do you know who stole it?

A 70-pound bronze bell that was located above the main entrance to McLane Elementary School in west Olympia was stolen earlier this month, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The bell was taken early the morning of March 9. Video surveillance shows the suspect pulling up to the school in a truck about 4:20 a.m., then using a ladder to remove the bell, Lt. Tim Rudloff said Monday.

Although the bell was stolen March 9, it wasn’t reported until March 14 because school staff had to review several days’ worth of video images, Olympia School District spokeswoman Susan Gifford said.

However, the video doesn’t provide a clear image of the suspect or vehicle, Rudloff said.

The bell has an estimated value of $2,000.

Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro shared his displeasure about the theft on Facebook.

“A sad event for our kids, especially when we strive to teach them honesty and good citizenship,” Munro said in his post. “McLane is the fourth oldest school in Olympia and the historic bell meant a lot to us. Sad day.”

Rolf has worked at The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, the city of Lacey and business for the paper. Rolf graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1990.
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