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Antique Case sign that hung from side of Manitoba lumber business for nearly 70 years stolen

This Case IH neon sign has been on the side of the Steven Lumber Co. building for 67 years. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says it was stolen last month. (Submitted Photo)1 / 2
This Case IH neon sign has been on the side of the Steven Lumber Co. building for 67 years. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says it was stolen last month. (Submitted Photo)2 / 2

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).

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers business and political stories. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family continues to raise registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as the Dickinson city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248
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