September 19, 2014

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Columbia Station man gets probation for stealing brass bells from church

CLEVELAND — A man with a drug problem has been placed on probation for two years for stealing five large brass bells from a Northeast Ohio church.

Judge Jose Villanueva in Cleveland sentenced 34-year-old Brian Diamond of Columbia Station today on his guilty plea to charges including theft.

The bells, worth more than $5,000, were stolen last summer from in front of St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Olmsted Falls. The bells were imported from Russia six years ago and were a memorial gift from a parishioner.

According to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Diamond’s attorney said the bells were stolen to finance a drug habit. The judge ordered drug treatment.

The bells were sold for scrap for $341. The dealer called police when he heard about the theft.