Antique bell theft suspect arrested
46-year-old man charged in St. John's United Church break-in Tuesday night in Halifax
A 46-year-old man is facing charges in the case of a set of carillon antique bells that were stolen from St. John's United Church in Halifax on Tuesday night.
Halifax Regional Police arrested a Conrod Settlement man on Wednesday night at a residence on Albro Lake Road in Dartmouth.
Const. Holly Tooke said officers found pieces of four missing bells but some of the pieces are still missing.
"We did locate some, but not all of the church bells," she told CBC News on Thursday.
"We don't want to assume that they were all broken. However, we have located portions of some of the church bells. So whether in portions or in full pieces, we'll gladly go and seek out those bells if the public have any tips."
St. John's United Church on Willow Street has been vacant for five years, with the parishioners now worshipping at the Maritime Conservatory on Chebucto Road.
Church officials said the thieves broke in through a stained glass window. They believe more than one person was responsible because each bell weighs hundreds of pounds.
There are still nine bells remaining, including one that was recovered on the sidewalk close to the church on Tuesday night. One other was taken down from the ceiling of the church but was not taken.
Tooke said the police investigation continues.
"Given the size of the bells, it is believed that considerable effort would have been needed to remove them from the premises," she said in a statement.
The man has been charged with break and enter, possession of stolen property and trafficking in property obtained by crime.
He was released on a promise to appear in Halifax provincial court at a later date.