RITTMAN, Ohio — An antique counter weighing more than 600 pounds was stolen from the recently opened WJR Rittman Nature Preserve in Rittman.
The nature preserve, with the help of a generous donation, purchased a historic Ohio 1853 General Store Counter for $2,000 to be used for the preserve’s new environmental education center as a lab work area for students.
“It's beautiful. I mean, it's heavy wood. It's an old antique piece and tongue and grooved and nice detailed work. So it was really going to be cool,” said Rittman mayor Bill Robertson.
Robertson and Environmental Education Advisory Jim Trogdon were at the preserve Monday when they noticed the antique counter was missing. The counter was last seen in the preserve on March 25. Robertson said it went missing between March 25 and April 10.
The counter is about 15 feet long by 4 feet wide and weighs more than 600 pounds. The preserve had to use a 16-foot trailer and the help of six men to move it to the center.
Robertson said it would be no easy feat to steal the counter.
“It’s not something you're going to put, I wouldn't think, in your rec room at 14.5 feet long. You're not going to get it down your basement stairs. It wouldn't look real good in the living room. I don't know what somebody would do with it other than what we were doing," he said.
Robertson said a group of people have banded together to offer a $1,000 reward for the location and return of the antique treasure to the preserve.
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