NORWELL (CBS) – An antique weather vane worth tens of thousands of dollars was stolen from the top of a barn in Norwell, and the thief tried to cover up his crime.

A little more than a week ago Louise Painter heard someone outside her home in the middle of the night.

“They were trying to get in to the house because they had the screen door open,” she says.

She and her husband called police, but the person was long gone. A few days later they were back.

WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports

“It’s pretty incredible to be chased away Thursday night and a few days come back and take it,” says Jeff Painter.

Whoever it was knew what they wanted and they had a long way to go to get it. They had to go up on one roof, to the top of the barn roof.

There sat a copper horse that had blown in the winds for more than 100 years. And whoever stole the historic weather vane left a cheap imitation in its place.

fakevane Antique Weather Vane Stolen From Norwell Barn; Imitation Left In Its Place

A thief left this reproduction weather vane in place of the original.

It was made of a tin like metal, which someone went through a lot of trouble to make.

“I was sick, it was a piece of history and it belongs with the house and with the town of Norwell and with New England it’s a piece of history,” says Louise.

A piece of history the two believe thieves are targeting not for their copper, but for their historic value.

“These weather vanes are old antiques, folk art and can go from 10 thousand to 80 thousand dollars they are worth a lot of money,” says Louise.

For Jeff and Louise they feel violated. They want it back, but also want to spread the word.

“I am hoping to see it again,” says Jeff. “But I’m not optimistic, but I am hoping.”

Comments (73)
  1. eddwal50 says:

    gee lady you feel violated it’s only a weathervane it can be replaced

    1. sean patriot says:

      youre an idiot


      2. Jesse says:

        Gee Constitution, you feel violated? It’s only a presidency. It can be replaced.

      3. JustAGuy says:

        How did Obama get that Conneticut birth certificate when he was never a Connetticut resident?

      4. Obama-Biden 2012 says:

        I just reported you to

      5. adice says:

        OOOOOO scarey!It’s Nazis like you that cost the lives of millions

    2. Dave says:

      It’s a $10,000 weather vane. Perhaps if someone stole your $10,000 car you’d be a bit upset, eh? Friggin idiot.

      1. Kris says:

        Even a $10,000 car can be replaced (after a lot of hassle) by the insurance company. This had historical value and even if it is reproduced, can not be replaced.

      2. NY9Solyndra says:

        Kris said that insurance would replace it. Unless they had a special rider for antiques, the insurance company would pay only to replace a standard weather vane, not the $10k value.

    3. Chukkalady says:

      A USA 100 year old weathervane can’t really be replaced……..but most likely was replaced by a facsimile made in China………that’s the real story!

    4. Whitey says:

      Fool. Maybe if an illegal Mexican steals your gay porn collection you would feel similarly violated.

    5. melvin says:

      Then let someone steal your XBox, and I’ll be you’ll be wailing for the FBI,

    6. Barry Levy says:

      What a sick comment. It was a piece of art, it was private personal property and just wondering what you would be saying if something of yours was taken, like maybe your car. It’s only a car it can be replaced.

      How about if someone stole your computer. Only a computer, it can be replaced.

      How about if you had a limited one of kind piece of art work, no problem, it can be replaced.

      You comment is sick joke, and a sad commentary on these times. And definitely not someone that I would like to have a neighbor.

    7. mwallace says:

      It is personal private property. Nobody had any right to go on the land much less steal it. You don’t get it. Something tells me you support liberal policies; social security, medicare, medicaid . . . . ALL theft of one person’s property and given to another.

    8. Gregorovich512 says:

      Hopefully, you’re not as ugly as your statement is stupid.

  2. Denise says:

    eddwaI50 – if it was your weathervane you probably would feel differently! The fact that someone would climb on top of their roof and steal the weathervane just goes to show how down right rotten some people are and how desperate some are becoming. The worst part is that there are junk/pawn/whatever shops that will give these thieves $$ no questions asked!

  3. Lou M says:

    wake up!! we live in a radical time with a horrible economy!

    1. Scudbuster says:

      SHOT GUN? It’s the people’s republic of Massachusetts only criminals have guns!

      Get a Glock & be ready to rock!

      1. Melvin says:

        Nah, Glocks are for young people who can see, shotguns are just point and shoot.
        And for those who are saying, “They didn’t have anything and you’ll shoot em.” Darn straight I’ll shoot em, they’re on my property uninvited, and they’re sure as heck not on my roof to put new shingles on it are they?

    2. LRC says:

      So let me see if I can understand what you’re saying…the home owners are in the wrong because they didn’t kill someone for trying to steal the weather vane? Or, maybe it’s their fault because they exist and have something the thief doesn’t have…what a dope you are Lou M. I hope someone steals all your stuff.

      1. ShadowGrass says:

        You call 911 if there is someone stealing or bringing violence to your house. Go ahead and rely on the government to protect you and your rights, your safety, and your possessions. These folks did and where did that get them? We need to be a little more aware of what is driving all these thefts as they will only get worse. Sympathizing with the criminal, don’t that just beat all. Just to top it off, “I hope someone steals all your stuff”. That’s great. Instead of of being bound together, we get driven further apart but stupid ideology. I feel for the folks, I would be violated if someone came onto my property and stole something. It could be anything. Let alone something that is irreplaceable.

        To get on my soapbox if I may:
        One of the reasons why our Constitution allows us to own and bear arms. Whether you like it or not, that is the “supreme” law of land. Federal law. So how does Mass usurp federal law? Hasn’t that been the cornerstone of the healthcare debate? Use it only when it is convenient and applies to the situation that benefits your or fits your ideology. I k now, taking a story and applying politics. I’m not saying….I’m just saying.

      2. Dubbs says:

        I would happily kill this kind of person.

    3. melvin says:

      Very good point someone on top of my roof or barn and I hear them. buckshot will knockem off that roof, and if the buckshot don’t kill em, the fall will

    4. Bilford Rielly says:

      Give it back Lou!

    5. Ernaldo T says:

      Loose? Did you mean lose?

  4. Stone says:

    eddwal50 – if this weathervane is so replacable then why don’t you go out and buy this couple a replacement for $10K to $80K………

    good luck dumb@ss……

  5. DoctorMikey says:

    Did anyone besides me notice this articel was written by someone with less than college-level writing skills?

    1. BRB San Diego says:

      “articel” should be “article” we can blame this on a typo obviously. Your spelling problem could be just sloppiness, broken spell checker, or ignorance – I am voting for choice “C”.

  6. BRB San Deigo says:

    Why don’t you just leave a trail of hundred dollar bills to your stash of cash you keep in the house? You are clearly stupid to leave valuable artwork stuck on top of a barn – you don’t pull that off in a city you dumb rube. Life is not a fairy tale which you finally found out.

    1. Ned Stark says:

      Only a truly moronic person would think to blame a theft victim. It’s people like you that make thieving animals think they will get away with it, it’s normal, it’s deserved, etc.

      The true rube is the moron who thinks everyone’s life should be as horrible as their own. I pity you.

      1. BRB San Diego says:

        Yo Ned – why don’t you leave all your valuables on the front sidewalk? Thieves will get away with whatever you leave out for them. My life is great because I value my hard work and the possessions I enjoy. Come and try to break into my house and you will catch a quick load from the 9mm or 12 gauge.

    2. Bucky Miller says:

      BRB SAN Diego- You are such an idiot… do the world a favor: DON’T REPRODUCE.

      1. John Smith says:

        Me thinks it you who is the idiot Bucky. I’m not in favor of vigilante justice, but the police do not respond quickly enough, probably due to “budget cuts” And too many others choose to blame the victim. Stealing is stealing! More and more people are choosing to defend themselves and their property from the thugs of society out of NECESSITY!!!

    3. Bilford Rielly says:

      Wrong San Diego! Just like every other IDIOT that still lives in that Crime Cess Pool Californacation.
      If it weren’t for idiots like yourself they probably would have put a few rounds through thier ceiling. But you big Lib/Commies have even made defending your property a crime – so F Off! Idiot!

    4. Ned Stark says:

      Is it theft from private property you are self-righteous and dismissive about or theft from public property? Someone trespassing, tampering with private property and stealing it is the same as B&E and burglary.

      Your logic is broken. Theft is wrong. I don’t care if it’s a wallet left on a park bench, if it’s not yours, you don’t take it. Anyone who does should have their hands chopped off Sharia style. I hate thieves, and there’s no justification EVER for it.

      1. Dale says:

        Ned Stark
        Nothing worse than a thief or a liar. Off with their heads

  7. DoctorMikey says:

    [article] lol

    1. mook says:

      Dale, seriously?

      What about child molesters and mass murderers?

  8. lifegoeson says:

    Yes Denise, the people who took it did bad. But if you think this woman should dwell on it and get all depressed over a hunk of metal, you are missing the whole point of existence. That weather vane has no value except what people give it. It is a hunk of metal. To assign that much importance to an inanimate object is not healthy. I find the people who will end up paying hundreds of dollars for that thing to be the ones with the weird issues. It’s an old weather vane. It’s metal. It spins in the wind. That’s it. The value comes from it’s age? Why? Makes no real sense if you think about it. In reality and for all practical purposes, the weather vane is useless.

    1. Jesse says:

      So then, let us burn down all of the art museums, after all they are only filled with paint on paper, and other useless items ….. Heritage? Culture ? Respect for the past? Ah say you, all mere inconvenient figments of the mind …… and nothing really matters, embrace nothingness ……..

      Comment obviously made by a vapid, newly minted product of a public school education …..

      1. Ned Stark says:

        lifegoeson’s existence is so empty, they simply wish to spread the misery.

    2. Bobo says:

      lifegoeson, end yours. You have no life. You have no brain, and you have no heart. You have no concept of the intrinsic value of art. I’m sure you’re the brains of your trailer park, but you just exposed your idiocy to the world.

  9. Melvin says:

    These types of crime will only stop when the thieves start ending up stone cold dead from being shot by the property owner, or getting mauled by the guard dog.
    I’m sorry you don’t stop crime with our current judicial system.

  10. AnthonyC says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it is a scam and that the couple sold the weather vane themselves a long time ago and made the copy to buy some time to them make the claim on their insurance?

    1. NY9Solyndra says:

      Do you think it trivial to commit insurance fraud and to file a false police report? Of course that’s possible, but if they sold the weather vane themselves, the chances are good that they will be caught. There are not a lot of these antique weather vanes around and someone willing to pay $10K for one will probably want people to know he has such an antique, not just stash it away.

    2. Nick says:

      Frankly that’s a thought and wouldn’t be the first time. It IS an awful strange thing for some passerby to notice, then valuate and be dumb enough to think they could pawn it off somewhere.

      But then again, thieves aren’t exactly brain surgeons. It’s just something very few would notice as something of value I would think. But who knows. If they have a specialized rider on their insurance policy for it like I happen to have for some vintage guitars for instance, that would be interesting indeed for a ‘weather vane’. We’ll see

  11. Johnny5 says:

    Here in New York if someone is on your roof stealing or breaking into your house we just shoot them. If you don’t kill them hopefully ther’re crippled for
    life after falling 20+ feet to the ground where they’re met by your well trained
    Doberman Pinscher who gets to chew on the remains.

    1. Miles Monroe says:

      New York? Guns? What are you ingesting? And you have a home? Why sir you just simply don’t pay enough taxes. You have too much and to be able to have a gun too? The inhumanity.

  12. eddwal50 says:

    I will say again it’s only an object no one died lady get over being violated

    1. John Brown says:

      just wait until youre a victim of a crime

  13. KCview says:

    If your weather vane is woth 10 Grand. It should probabbly be on display inside your house. Times are tough, and lots of criminals are smart about what they can take easily

  14. Miguel says:

    These high-end thieves serving themselves at others’ expense will need to have every single bone in their bodies broken in service to the higher morality which built this country.

    If only 100 of these weasels had their bodies smashed, these crimes of robbing others just for the money they can steal in service to their Hollywood amorality, these forms of crime would be eliminated, and we could instead begin to re-build America to a higher standard than getting ahead no matter who you hurt.

    The liberal apologists for crimes make civilized people sick.

  15. Wooly says:

    If guns kill people…..Cars drive drunk.

  16. thussaiththewalrus says:

    “eddwal” is an old limbagoan name that translates to: “I’m a dumb sucker with few brains, little reasoning power, zero compassion, absolutely no empathy, and miniscule understanding.”

    I believe that the “50” in his name indicates the year he was born; sometimes it is assumed that “50” is his IQ, but that is not possible. Someone with an IQ of 50 is not able to type. I have been told that “eddwall” not only types but also ties his own shoes and is able to prepare instant oatmeal for those times that Meals on Wheels cannot cut through the mud and ice to reach his hut on wheels.

    Now, go get ’em eddwal!!! The old limbagoans are counting on you to end sympathy, empathy, or any “weak” thoughts of compassion; (you have no obligation to be “kind” to humans, they are all less than you).

  17. JustMe says:

    Eddwal still lives in his mamma’s basement, so he dosen’t know about having his things stolen.

  18. Fishsnot says:

    Check out WALMART, the big one, or try TARGET. Might see it at LOWE’S

  19. Forrest Sergente says:

    This is very sad, a piece of history stolen and probably damaged in the process. And then we have morons commenting on here that say this is no big deal! I’m sure these same idiots would itch a fit if someone stole their stupid I-phone. If only the owners had pulled out a shotgun and blasted the perps with some rock-salt, I’d doubt that they would’ve ever returned, and if they did then follow up with 00 buckshot. An armed society is an polite and honest society.

  20. Km Romeo says:

    When is some government or another going to crack down on recycling companies accepting dubious materials?

  21. Japes Macfarland says:

    Some Obama voter that *feels* he deserved it. lol

  22. HTuttle says:

    Stop complaining!
    It was just wealth redistribution. Shut up and do your part to sacrifice for the greater good!

  23. matt says:

    This reminds me of the Tiffany window mausoleum thefts a few years back. A Tiffany “EXPERT” was finally caught. This should be sent out to every auction house in hopes of catching this bum.

  24. BigRon says:

    Nothing a pump action shotgun couldn’t have solved. If the thieves heard distinct sound of a round being pumped into the chamber, I don’t think they would have come back.

  25. moonmac says:

    I bet the copper value alone is worth a thousand bucks since our stupid Fed started printing Trillions of dollars causing commodities to skyrocket, not to mention the last decade of ultra loose monetary policies that now have destroyed our economy. At least every single congressman made millions more during that time and have even made millions more during this Great Depression!

  26. ann tiki says:

    Correct, they could have used a gun to stop the theft. But, beyond being always on guard, they would have needed to retain a lawyer right away to protect their rights or defend against a wrongful harming or death suit from the perps. Reality is too often surreality.

    The real question is why on earth would anybody leave a 10K antique outside in the weather. The weather keeps deteriorating the object and its value. For a little bit of money they could have the original copied, put the copy on the barn and keep the real one inside. As an added benefit, if the thieves came in to get it, legal issues are more clear cut on the side of the homeowner.

  27. Denise says:

    the worst part about this whole thing is – even if they catch the people that took it – it’s probably been melted down or ruined by now. And why would someone think that a weathervane would be stolen – that takes a lot of balls to get a ladder and climb on someones roof to steal it! it should be their right to leave whatever they want on their property without fear of it being taken by some low life! Kids who’s bikes get stolen from their yards is that just a big oh well… get another one? Not everyone has disposable income these days. I feel bad for them – I feel bad for some friends of mine that had their house broken into too… he was only gone 20 minutes – they did have a lead on a piece of the jewelry that was stolen but the detective still hasn’t done much to follow up on it. I say chop their fingers off….

  28. Dumb says:

    Why would someone have a weathervane outside anywhere that was worth that much money or anything antique that small worth that much money sitting outside….HELLO? They should have had it inside and a replacement up themselves. That is what makes this whole story DUMB! Im surprised it wasn’t stolen sooner. .

  29. DUMB says:

    In all reality of the situation it will work out. The insurance company will pay off, and the weathervane will still end up in a collection or museum. or they catch the thieves and get the vane back and the people get to look at it a few more years before they pass and it ends up in a museum or collection anyway. Either way, I think it will end ok! I like to think positive.

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