Nation: Weather Vane Caper

In New England, an age of specialization has produced some thieves in a recondite line of work. They steal antique weather vanes and even those that merely look antique. In the past three years, about 100 vanes have disappeared, many of them the elaborate work of 18th and 19th century coppersmiths. The vanes can sell for hundreds of dollars.

Sometimes the thieves' ingenuity has been almost as quaint as their plunder. It has been reported that in several cases they hired helicopters to pluck their booty from the roofs of houses and barns. Robert Eldred of Dennis, Mass., returned from a trip...

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