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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Historic bells stolen from church
Two historic church bells, worth 30,000, have been stolen from a village church.

Police fear the 13th and 17th Century bells could be sold for scrap.

The artefacts were stolen by up to four people from St Michael's Church, Quarley, near Andover, Hampshire, on 5 or 6 July, said police.

Officers believe the gang burned through rope pulleys to remove the bells from their casing, then lifted them onto a van or 4x4 vehicle.

Those responsible knew what they were doing
Pc Bill Williams

The 13th Century bell is marked with a small black S and inscribed with the words "Santa Maria ora pro nobis".

The other bell dates back to 1635 and has the words "Love God" inscribed on it.

Pc Bill Williams said: "Those responsible knew what they were doing, and I would urge any scrap metal dealers or individuals in the area, who may have been offered these items to buy, to get in contact."

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