EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Another big hit for a historic bell factory that burnt down in East Hampton over the weekend: police say crooks stole hundreds of bells from the charred remains of the factory.
"It's the vultures of society and I think that people like that are scum bags," said owner Matt Bevin.
Talk about kicking a man when he is down.
First, Bevin watched his families business burn to the ground. Then the next day he realized someone had snuck in overnight and stole a shipment of bells from the ashes.
Bevin's great-great-great-grandfather started the business back in 1832.
In 180 years we have been through a lot," said Bevin. "A lot of wars, including one that almost split this country in half, the great depression and a couple of recessions, we have been kicked in the pants a number of times, but never like this."
Police say the thieves cut a hole in the fence and then went to the back of the burned out building and stole 4,500 bells, weighing nearly 1,500 lbs.
Police say they have patrols 24 hours a day around the area.
"I don't know what Sherpa team was trucking those things out of there," Bevin said, "but the reality is that dirt bags who won't work for a living will steal from people and work three times as hard doing it."
"That is an insult to everybody in this town," said neighbor Larry Smith.
Many in town work at the plant and are angry, taking the theft personally. Smith lives right behind the bell company and has been watching the police circling the grounds.
While police have some leads in the case and are working to make an arrest, Smith says he plans on doing his part.
"I'm going to keep my eyes open and I will call the police any time I see anybody in the woods," Smith said, "now that I know people are stealing from them and there is a lot of scrap metal up there that people will want to get their hands on."
Bevin says they do plan to rebuild and you can watch the process by visiting their website .
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