Coast Guard offering reward for info on buoy bell thieves

August 22, 2018 - 12:17 pm

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Coast Guard is offering a reward for information about brass gongs and bells that have been stolen from 10 buoys off of Maine's coast.

The Coast Guard says nine bells were stolen from Penobscot Bay, and one was stolen off Bailey Island in Harpswell.

The bell assembly stolen from the White Bull Gong buoy off Bailey Island weighed 371 pounds (168 kilograms).

The sounding devices help boats navigate when there is poor visibility, and the Coast Guard says they are most likely being sold to nautical novelty stores or scrap yards.

Coast Guard Lt. Matthew Odom previously said the thefts put lives at risk and cost taxpayers.

Tampering with navigation aids is a federal crime, punishable by up to $25,000 per day.

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