Ohio man gets probation in theft of church bells

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man with a drug problem has been placed on probation for two years for stealing five large brass bells from a northeast Ohio church.

Judge Jose Villanueva in Cleveland sentenced 34-year-old Brian Diamond of Columbia Station on Wednesday on his guilty plea to charges including theft.

The bells, worth more than $5,000, were stolen last summer from in front of St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Olmsted Falls. The bells were imported from Russia six years ago and were a memorial gift from a parishioner.

According to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/10fnO5M ), Diamond's attorney said the bells were stolen to finance a drug habit. The judge ordered drug treatment.

The bells were sold for scrap for $341. The dealer called police when he heard about the theft.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com

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