The 122-year-old, 5,300 pound church bell stolen from St. Mary's Cathedral on Geary Boulevard earlier this week was found by a homeless man in an East Bay scrapyard this afternoon, the Chronicle reports. Acting on an anonymous tip, Police found the bell waiting for them across the street from a salvage yard at Ninth and Pine Streets in West Oakland. It was hidden under a tarp.
The communications director for the Archdiocese told the Chronicle, "It was a salvage yard so we're glad we found it when we did. It might have been just minutes or hours from being destroyed... We are really happy. This is mini-miracle."
Unfortunately, the church will have to foot the bill to get the hefty bell back to the city, so here's hoping the parishioners aren't too stingy when the offering plate comes around at mass this Sunday. In the meantime, authorities are questioning the salvage yard owners to find out how it could have ended up over there.