The iconic bell at Centerville Elementary School has been around since 1911.
It's an intricate part of the Centerville community, not just the school.
Last night, it was stolen.
One of the first questions people in Centerville are asking is: who would steal a bell?
Believe it or not, it's not the first time it's happened to Centerville Elementary.
There are, ore were, 2 bells at Centerville elementary school. One was stolen about 15 years ago, found at a swap meet by a sheriff's deputy and returned.
Now, principal Lisa Houston says the other bell's been stolen. "We couldn't believe it. Last night, we locked up the school about 10:30 after our Christmas program and this morning when we arrived at 6am, our school bell was missing."
Right after the Christmas program? Who would do such a thing?
School parent Jamie Grunwald knows who. "Grinch! Bring it back! Please!"
Of course! "Every who down in whoville liked Christmas a lot.
But the Grinch who lived just north of Whoville did not!"
So we started North, then remembered this is Centerville, not Whoville. Regardless, the students here are pretty upset with the Grinch that stole their bell.
But 5th graders are taking a proactive approach by making the school look nice for when the bell comes back. Many spent a little bit of class time raking leaves.
Tammy Wolfe is vice president of the Sanger School Board. She says it's a pretty heavy bell.
A hundred years ago, it was at Oakhurst Elementary. In 1945 it went to Tivy Valley. It's been in Centerville since 1964.
Tammy is sure it took more than one person to steal it. Officials found a glove, a crobar, and tire tracks next to the bell's pedastal.
"My heart sank. This is a huge part of our Centerville community, not just our school, but this whole community."
The Fresno Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation. So far, they have no suspect information.
Detectives say there have actually been some bell thefts in the past.
Deputies later found them at recycling yards.