Historic bell being returned to S. Valley school

FRESNO, Calif.

South Valley investigators have made an arrest after a nearly 150-year old school bell was stolen from a Porterville school.

The Bell was part of a historical monument outside Rockford School. It was reported missing on Friday. Sgt. Chris Douglass with the Tulare Co. Sheriff's Department says, "It is very unusual for artifacts like that to be stolen."

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office says deputies recognized the vehicle of the alleged thief from surveillance video at the school.

After a two day investigation, deputies arrested 32 year old Mark Walker Jr. and recovered the bell, which has since been returned to school officials.

Rockford School District's superintendent, Andrew Schultz, says, "Kids were just very, very disappointed that someone could come on our campus and take something that means so much to us."

School officials say the bell has been at the school since 1862. They say the bell is worth $50,000.

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