A World War I cannon was stolen from outside a Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Michigan, and an official is concerned it could be sold for scrap metal.

The vintage piece of military hardware was hauled away earlier this week from outside VFW Post 1137 in Benton Township in southwestern Michigan, The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reported (http://bit.ly/1NXqHgd ) Thursday.

The 12- to 14-foot-long cannon has a heavy metal barrel, wooden wheel spokes and sat on a concrete slab. It had been displayed since 1976 at the post. The non-working cannon doesn't have a firing pin.

"Our fear is the scrap yard," post adjutant quartermaster Robert Williams told the newspaper. "Who's going to put it in their yard?"

The post building has been closed since October but is regularly checked by patrolling police. Williams said the cannon was in place Tuesday morning and noticed missing around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It was in use overseas during WWI, he said.

"That was why we were so proud of it. The cannon was a veteran," Williams said.

Recycling and scrap yards will be notified to look out for the cannon in case anyone tries to sell it, said Benton Township police officer Scott Scalf, adding: "This is the first time I have come across someone stealing a cannon."

Because Benton Township is just north of the Indiana state line, Williams said he worries the cannon may have been taken out of Michigan.

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Information from: The Herald-Palladium, http://www.heraldpalladium.com