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Reward offered for more information after covered bridge contractor’s stolen trailer recovered

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- Police in Fort Wayne found a trailer stolen from the contractor renovating the Spencerville covered bridge.

"It is frustrating but it's a piece of the puzzle," said Mary Diehl from the Friends of the Spencerville Covered Bridge.

Last week, someone stole the trailer full of $25,000 worth of tools and equipment from DeKalb County's covered bridge in Spencerville.

The state of Indiana's $3,000 historic marker had also been stored in the trailer.

Police found the trailer in Fort Wayne Thursday evening, but most everything that had been inside it was gone.

"A lot of stuff taken, a lot of money in there. The plaque that we're looking for was not in there," DeKalb County Sheriff David Cserep said.

"The sign wasn't there but that can be replaced. Our biggest concern are the tools that were stolen from our contractor. He's going above and beyond to restore our bridge on a personal level, and we really want that for him to get those items back," Diehl added.

The trailer is being held in a secure location in Fort Wayne, and the Cserep calls that and the opportunity to look for fingerprints on it small victories.

"We have a lot of processing to do on the vehicle, and we have now incorporated Fort Wayne PD is also assisting us in the investigation. And I'm more than confident that we'll get to the bottom of this," he said.

He makes no apologies for taking the crime against the bridge from the late 1800s almost personally.

"The covered bridge itself is an icon in DeKalb County. A lot of people have married there, have wedding showers, all kinds of things. It's an icon of DeKalb County. And I think that's the importance of this is that it's a part of our history. And we're going to get to the bottom of it," he said.

He says tips continue to come in, and he's confident the thief will be found and held accountable.

"This is not going away, so the individuals that did commit this should be looking over their shoulders," Cserep said.

If you know anything about the trailer theft, call DeKalb County central dispatch at (260) 333- 0702.

A $1600 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the theft.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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