NAUGATUCK — A $1,000 reward is on the table for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the person who stole a wooden replica of a ship from the Naugatuck Historical Society last November.
The reward, which is also being offered for the return of the model, is being sponsored by ion Bank, according to a press release issued by the Naugatuck Police Department.
On Nov. 11 an unknown person or persons broke into the Naugatuck Historical Society Museum, 195 Water St., and made off with the replica. No other items were stolen.
The ship is a replica of a boat from the Mounds Flea Fleet, a fleet of seven small ships owned by the former Peter Paul Company. It was donated to the historical society by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The ships were used by the Peter Paul Company to travel to South America and get coconuts during World War II. Because of their size, the ships were ignored by the German U-Boats patrolling the waters. However, the crews of the ships were bringing back information on the German U-Boat’s movements in addition to the coconuts. The ships were also used to transport supplies during the war.
“The model has great historical and sentimental value to the Naugatuck Historical Society and to the borough,” police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata said in the press release.
Historical Society President Wendy Murphy said in a previous interview the model is unique because it was handmade and a one of a kind replica. Murphy said that it would only be appealing to those who either were interested in ships or had a history with the Peter Paul Company. It would be difficult to sell on the black market, she previously said.
“The Naugatuck Historical Society is very excited about ion Bank stepping up and helping us get our Mounds Ship returned. It was an important and unusual piece that told the war story of the Peter Paul and the factory that was such an important part of Naugatuck’s history,” Murphy said in a statement.
The theft is under investigation, but no new leads have been developed, the release stated.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the model is asked to call Det. Ronald Pugliese Jr. at (203) 729-7106.