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Antique Weather Vane Stolen From Norwell Barn; Imitation Left In Its Place

NORWELL (CBS) - An antique weather vane worth tens of thousands of dollars was stolen from the top of a barn in Norwell, and the thief tried to cover up his crime.

A little more than a week ago Louise Painter heard someone outside her home in the middle of the night.

"They were trying to get in to the house because they had the screen door open," she says.

She and her husband called police, but the person was long gone. A few days later they were back.

WBZ-TV's Jonathan Elias reports

"It's pretty incredible to be chased away Thursday night and a few days come back and take it," says Jeff Painter.

Whoever it was knew what they wanted and they had a long way to go to get it. They had to go up on one roof, to the top of the barn roof.

There sat a copper horse that had blown in the winds for more than 100 years. And whoever stole the historic weather vane left a cheap imitation in its place.

Fake weather vane
A thief left this reproduction weather vane in place of the original.

It was made of a tin like metal, which someone went through a lot of trouble to make.

"I was sick, it was a piece of history and it belongs with the house and with the town of Norwell and with New England it's a piece of history," says Louise.

A piece of history the two believe thieves are targeting not for their copper, but for their historic value.

"These weather vanes are old antiques, folk art and can go from 10 thousand to 80 thousand dollars they are worth a lot of money," says Louise.

For Jeff and Louise they feel violated. They want it back, but also want to spread the word.

"I am hoping to see it again," says Jeff. "But I'm not optimistic, but I am hoping."

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