Historic marker stolen from Mid-Michigan park - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Historic marker stolen from Mid-Michigan park

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(01/27/14) - Sometime in the past few days, a historic marker was stolen from a Mid-Michigan park.

A plaque attached to a large block of granite was removed and now police are investigating.

For nearly 90 years, the marker has stood at Shiatown West Park near the village of Vernon in Shiawassee County. Recently, at least one thief - and maybe more - yanked it from the rock and disappeared.

The plaque noted that portion of land was set aside for public use when Shiawasseetown was platted in 1837. Early settlers had hoped the state capital would eventually be located there.

The metal plate, about two feet by two feet, was placed there in 1926 by the Shiawassee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Township supervisor Anthony Karhoff found out about the theft Saturday afternoon.. He is personally offering a reward for the arrest of whoever took the marker, and he says others in the township are adding to the fund.

"I'm personally offering a reward for the return or information leading to the conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for this. And I also have some generous residents who live within our township that are adding to that reward fund to help capture these individuals," he said.

Karhoff says a piece of Michigan history was stolen from the county park and that's upsetting to him.

"As you can see, right up there was a pretty large plaque that they had to forcefully rip off there with four large bolts holding it down. I'm not aware if it was made of copper or bronze but it's very noticeable. If anybody sees it, they'll know what it looks like. That would weigh about 30 pounds," he said.

In December, thieves made off with bronze markers and damaged headstones in the nearby Newburg Cemetery.

"We're keeping a close eye on this park and all the cemeteries we manage," Karhoff said.

A bill that would stiffen penalties for stealing material like that has been introduced by State Senator Jim Ananich of Flint.

"One of the provisions of the bill is it creates a 'do not buy' list for cemetery markers, historical markers and a number of things like that. So they couldn't even take them in to a scrap yard," he said.

That bill however has been held up in committee and Ananich is searching for a way to move it forward.

The Shiawassee County Sheriff's Department is investigating the theft at Shiatown West Park.

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