WHIPPANY, NJ (Morris County) – The Morristown and Erie Railway is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for criminal trespass and theft of a Tri-State Railway Historical Society‘s locomotive 19’s horn while on railroad property.
The 19’s horn was stolen this past weekend while on public display in Whippany. The No. 19 is an active, blue-carded locomotive and this incident is being treated as an act of criminal trespass on an active railroad, as well as criminal theft and vandalism of a locomotive which are federal crimes, authorities said.
According to the Tri-State Railway Historical Society, the thief set up a ladder and climbed up on the hood to unbolt the horn. Evidence was left behind which has been turned over to police.
“We have reason to believe the thief is a member of the railfan community, which is why we are offering a reward for any information that leads to its return. The horn is a Nathan K3L, with several distinguishing marks that will be recognizable to us if and when the horn turns up on the market,” the society said.
“The thief is welcome to return the horn anonymously, no questions asked, and we will not press charges. Our primary goal is to get this artifact back home. However, if the culprit is found before it is willfully returned, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Stealing horns is a federal crime,” the society said.
Anyone with information should contact Superintendent Matt Phalon by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the M&E office at 973-267-4300 during business hours between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.