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2 charged with stealing 200-pound, historic N.J. firehouse bell

The Pleasantville Fire Department bell, used to alert firefighters before sirens, was significantly damaged


Pleasantville Fire Department/Facebook

By Nicolas Fernandes

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. — Two men have been charged in the stealing of a historic bell that went missing from a South Jersey fire department last week.

The Pleasantville Fire Department in Atlantic County asked for the public’s help in a social media post last Tuesday after discovering that the historic artifact had gone missing. The bell — which measures 3 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds — had been stored in an alley behind the fire house as members of the department were preparing to create a memorial for it.

Police arrested John Jordon II, 61, and Joseph Redd, 44, both of Pleasantville, on Monday after officers executed a search warrant and located a portion of the bell, according to a statement from the Pleasantville Police Department.

A good Samaritan previously found a separate part of the bell and returned it to the fire department, officials said.

The bell now has significant damage, but the department still plans to finalize the memorial after it is repaired.

“We want to thank the public whose tips and information helped us find our bell which was taken last week,” the department said in a statement on Facebook on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, it was damaged, but like we always do, we will adapt and overcome.”

The bell — made of bronze — was manufactured in 1909 by the Buckeye Bell Foundation and was used in the early 20th century before the creation of sirens to alert firefighters about reported incidents.

Both men were released on summonses pending court appearances. They face charges of receiving stolen property and criminal mischief, while Jordon is additionally charged with theft, authorities said.

Attorney information for the two was not immediately available.

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