Police renew search for missing 300 pound historic bell

ELIZABETH, Colo. - The small Elbert County town of Elizabeth has a big mystery on its hands. Police asked the FOX31 Problem Solvers for help finding a missing 300 pound historic bell. It was taken 15 years ago and there is a new push to get it back.

They say it was either a prank by students at the high school or students from a rival school. Officer MC Williams said, “In this case, there is a strange code of silence. To the point when I ask people about the bell, they are literally laughing .. like haha.. why are you laughing? Can`t tell you why we're laughing..”

The bell is 300 pounds of solid brass. It was donated to the town more than 100 years ago. Elizabeth Police Chief Stephen Hasler said, “They used to ring it every time there was a graduation or football game.”

There is a replica now at Elizabeth High School. But police are on a mission to find the real one.

Officer Williams said, “I've been in law enforcement for 32 years and counting. I've been a detective half of that. I solve cases. That's what I do. Chief assigned this case to me. This is a case I have not been able to solve.”

Williams says he doesn't want to retire until he cracks this case, but he says this is more about the community he serves. He said, “I want to bring this case to a conclusion so we can say to this community we are doing everything in our power to make it happen.”

They have grainy surveillance photos from the night the bell was taken, Feb. 23, 2004.

Chief Hasler said, “I firmly believe it was three boys that went and took that bell for the giggle but when all the cops showed up at the school the next day, they panicked and hid it and now there's been this cloak of secrecy and that's what we are trying to uncover.”

The statute of limitations has passed, so no one will be in trouble.

In fact, they are even offering a reward. Chief Hasler said, “Find me the bell, I`ll buy you a case of beer. If you are under 21, I'll buy you some chocolate. There will be no questions asked, I just want to get that bell back.” The bell was valued at $6,000 at the time it was taken.

The people who took the bell would likely be in their 30s now if they were high school students. If you know where the bell is, or who took it, they are asking you to contact Elizabeth Police Department at (303) 646-4664. Officer Williams even said you could call his personal cell phone at (720)371-1022.

His email address is mwilliams@townofelizabeth.org

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