Garden City man charged in theft of historic Cass County church bell

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — Cass County prosecutors have charged a man in connection to the theft of a historic church bell in Gunn City, Missouri.

Christopher Longacre, 36, of Garden City, has been charged with felony theft and possession of a controlled substance as well as resisting arrest.

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The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says deputies located parts of the historic bell while serving a warrant to Longacre on Wednesday.

The historic bell had been reported stolen on Monday, Sept. 11. The next day, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant for Longacre after getting information he was in possession of the bell.

When investigators got to Longacre’s residence, he ran on foot. Investigators were unable to find any remnants of the bell that day.

Then on Wednesday, during a traffic stop, deputies arrested Longacre on a failure to appear warrant and found pieces of the historic bell during the probable cause search, according to the sheriff’s office.

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Investigators found Longacre had cut down parts of the bell and have reason to believe he was trying to scrap the remnants of the bell and sell them.

The sheriff’s office says the bell was part of a church in Gunn City dating back to 1882. The bell survived a fire in the 1920s that burned down the church when it was a log cabin. It was put back up in the church which is still standing today.

Longacre is currently being held at the Cass County Jail on a $25,000 cash only bond.

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