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Thieves Steal 2.7 Ton Church Bell

The Missing St. Mary's Bell

You KNOW things are bad in America when folks are stealing entire bridges

And now the Church bell.

Thieves in San Francisco recently “walked away” with a 2.7 ton copper bell that once sat in the Cathedral – but had been replaced by an electronic chime.

Anybody checked recently to see if the Statue of Liberty is still there?

Seems that the only crooks in America aren’t just the ones in Congress, the Banks and on Wall Street.

St. Mary’s Cathedral bell stolen in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO — The bell at St. Mary’s Cathedral rang through the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. It survived when an arsonist torched the old cathedral in 1962. And although it was replaced with an electronic chime in the 1970s, for decades it stood strong on a wooden platform outside the rebuilt church.

But sometime in the last month, metal thieves made off with the 122-year-old, 2.7-ton bell.

“It is a very historic and valuable item, it is a memory of the Catholic Church in San Francisco,” said George Wesolek, communications director for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. “It is kind of an ignoble end for the bell if they succeed.”

Nobody realized the bell was missing until Sunday morning. A parishioner mentioned that it wasn’t where it was supposed to be, a secluded outside corner of the cathedral on Geary Boulevard and Gough Street. Then everyone realized that they couldn’t remember seeing the bell for the last month.

Police assume the bell was taken more recently, but can’t be sure.

“Nobody can swear on a Bible and say the last time they saw the bell,” said police Inspector Brian Danker.

Heavy equipment

The bell, which at 5,300 pounds and 5 feet across is bigger than the Liberty Bell, must have been lifted by a crane and carted away by more than an average truck, Danker said. No security cameras are pointed at the area.

In 1889, the bell was commissioned to hang in the original St. Mary’s Cathedral at Van Ness Avenue and O’Farrell Street. A steam train hauled it across the country from a Baltimore bell foundry.

It hung in the church until 1962, when an arsonist destroyed the old cathedral. The bell was hoisted out of the crumbled tower and moved to a secluded corner of the cathedral’s new grounds, near the corner of Gough Street and Geary Boulevard.

And there it sat on wooden blocks for 40 years as part of an exhibit on San Francisco history.

The bell is made of a mix of 80 percent copper and 20 percent tin, records show. If melted down, the bell is worth roughly $75,000. It originally cost the church $17,000, Wesolek said…(more)

 

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Nawwwwww!

 

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Orange Jumpsuit Award – Entire City Council of Bell, California

This one is staggering in it’s audacity. Hope these guys get a long time to contemplate how they screwed over their neighbors and community.

161144.ME.0921.BELL.01.RRC

Rizzo faces 53 counts; Bell was ‘corruption on steroids,’ D.A. Cooley says [Updated]

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley filed charges against eight current and former Bell officials Tuesday, alleging that they misappropriated $5.5 million in public funds. Robert Rizzo, Bell’s former city manager, has been charged with 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest.

The charges come after a dramatic morning in which authorities swept through Bell and other cities, arresting former and current Bell officials.

Among those arrested were Rizzo; Angela Spaccia, former assistant city manager; Mayor Oscar Hernandez; councilmembers George Mirabal, Teresa Jacobo and Luis Artiga; and former councilmembers George Cole and Victor Bello.

“This is corruption on steroids,” Cooley said.

[Updated at 11:28 a.m.: Cooley said officials used the city’s tax dollars “as their own piggy bank that they then looted at will.”

He said that councilmembers, who earned salaries of nearly $100,000, received $1.2 million for “phantom meetings” — many which never occurred or lasted only a minute or two.

Police Chief Randy Adams, who also stepped down after The Times reported he was earning $457,000, was not arrested.

“Being paid excessive amounts is not a crime,” Cooley said, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

Bail for Rizzo has been set at $3.2 million. Bail for the others ranges from $130,000 to $377,500.]

Rizzo, whose high salary sparked the outrage that led to the investigations of the city, was among those arrested in the sweep. At 10 a.m., officials emerged from Rizzo’s luxury home in Huntington Beach. Rizzo, handcuffed, was escorted into a black SUV.

In Bell, a neighbor of Hernandez said authorities used a battering ram on his front door after he failed to answer the door.

“They broke the door down,” said the neighbor, who only gave his name as Jose. “They knocked down the door and they brought him out in cuffs.”

The city of Bell released a statement about the arrests, calling it a “sad day” for the city.

“Given the sheer volume of charges levied against former Bell Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo and former Assistant CAO Angela Spaccia by the district attorney, it is clear that Rizzo and Spaccia were at the root of the cancer that has afflicted the City of Bell. Also, it is a sad day for Bell that four current and two former members of the council also have been arrested. I am prepared to double down our efforts to continue to restore order, establish good government reforms, and to ensure that Bell is providing needed services to its residents,” said Pedro Carrillo, interim city manager.

Outside City Hall, about two dozen residents gathered as news of the arrests spread. One man used a bullhorn to broadcast the Queen song, “Another One Bites the Dust.” Members of the crowd laughed and applauded, happy to see arrests in the scandal.

For two months, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and state and federal authorities have investigated Bell, where high salaries earned by Rizzo and other top officials have sparked widespread outrage. The Times reported last month that Rizzo was set to earn more than $1.5 million in 2010. Additionally, he gave loans totaling $1.6 million to more than 50 city officials, including himself.

Group Jumpsuit Award for former city officials of Bell, California...

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Orange Jumsuit Politicians

 

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