By Nick Sinis
WONTHAGGI police have pulled off an incredible feat after recovering Cowes’ ‘Harmony Bells’ from a shipping container destined for China.
The four bells were stolen from Cowes Town Square earlier this month, and had been installed in 2012 at a cost of $55,000.
Senior Constable Varli Blake told the Sentinel-Times the bells were initially sold to a scrap metal yard in Dandenong, before eventually being sold to a Sydney-based business.
“They were in a container ship in the dock at Port Melbourne, waiting to be loaded onto the ship to go to China,” Snr Const Blake said.
“But because of the lockdown, they weren’t loaded at that stage, but they should have been sailing already.
“We got in contact with them, and they agreed to take the container ship off the dock and get it unpacked.”
Snr Const Blake said the bells were then transported to Wonthaggi today (Wednesday, July 28) and handed back to Bass Coast Shire Council.
“They’ve been stripped of their gold and ornaments; they look a lot different compared to when they were displayed,” she said.
“Hopefully they can restore them.”
Police also recovered Kilcunda’s historic red bell, which was stolen earlier this month and was located at a Dandenong scrap metal yard.
The bell had been on display at the Kilcunda Community Centre.
Snr Const Blake said the incidents appeared to be linked and an arrest was pending.
“A search warrant was conducted at a Lang Lang address in relation to the bells,” she said.
“That’s when we located (other) items that were stolen and found out more information from that and were able to track them down.”