Volunteers work on the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Norris, SD, in June 2016. The bell from this tower, at right, was stolen between Dec. 31, 2017, and Jan. 3, 2018. The tower was pulled over, and the cross at the top, a wooden carving of a Niobrara Cross, was broken into three pieces. Photo by Carrie Thomas

(RNS) — Who would steal a 400-pound church bell?

That’s the question baffling the parishioners of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church near Norris, S.D., where the hundred-year-old bell has chimed for news, services and emergencies from atop its small wooden tower.

The bell

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