Reporting Andrea Menniti
LODI (CBS13) – A century-old bell is missing from a local elementary school. It served as a landmark at Live Oak Elementary School, but the thief will likely find out its value is more sentimental than anything else.
For more than 100 years, the iron bell stood tall in front of the school.
“I was crying the whole night. I was shocked,” student Dylan Wages said.
Students can’t comprehend why anyone would steal a piece of school history.
“It meant a lot for the school,” student Tyler Fehling said. “It’s been here a long time.”
Parents fear sophisticated metal thieves targeted the relic in hopes of cashing it in as scrap metal, but the bell is made of iron and not pricey copper.
“We can see where they hooked on to it with a chain and yanked it off. So we think it went for scrap, you know? If they were keeping it for sentimental value, I think they would’ve unscrewed the bolts,” parent Allen said.
The bell is used during a special ceremony on the first day of school. Students are picked to ring the bell to symbolize a fresh start. Some of the students have been participating since kindergarten.
“It will be sad for them and they wouldn’t be in the tradition of that,” sixth grader Jessica Saldana said.
Investigators have been notified, but there’s still no sign of the missing bell.
“I hope somebody will find who took it, and maybe we can bring it back and replace it again,” sixth grader Allison White said.
Parents say the bell made it through a fire decades ago, and hope it will be returned.