FANNYSTELLE, Man.-Thieves have made off with an antique neon sign that has been a part of a small-town lumber business in Manitoba for nearly seven decades, Canadian investigators say.
The sign that was attached to the second floor exterior wall of Stevens Lumber Co. in Fannystelle went missing Jan. 7, according to a news release issued Monday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The 5-foot tall, 2-foot wide sign likely was cut down from the side of the building, and investigators believe a bucket truck and power tools may have been used to remove it, the release said.
Founded in 1903, Stevens Lumber is one of the few businesses in the small town about 30 miles west of Winnipeg. The sign has been with the business for 67 years, owner Don Stevens said.
The family always has dealt with lumber, but Stevens' grandfather took on selling farm equipment for Case IH for some time in his career. That's how the family came into possession of the sign that features the word "Case" and an eagle sitting on the Earth.
"It's part of the family business history and the town history," he said.
Stevens was shocked and angry to find out the sign was gone. It's a rare antique, and though he wasn't sure of its monetary value, the sign is priceless to the family, he said.
"There's not many like that out there," he said. "It's almost been like a member of the family. All my life, it's always been there."
Anyone with information on the sign are asked to call the RCMP at (204) 745-6760 or the Manitoba Crime Stoppers anonymously at (800) 222-8477. A tip also can be submitted to www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or by texting "TIPMAN" and the tip to CRIMES (274637).