October 7th, 2011
12:16 PM ET

Thieves dismantle, cart off steel bridge in Pennsylvania

Metal theft is not a new phenomenon in the U.S., nor is it a surprising one given the state of the economy. But a thief or group of thieves in North Beaver Township, Pennsylvania, has raised the bar by stealing a 50-foot-long by 20-foot-wide bridge for scrap metal, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Authorities say the privately owned Covert's Crossing bridge, which was made of corrugated steel, has been valued at approximately $100,000 and was dismantled using a blowtorch sometime between September 27 and October 5. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that it contained a steel web decking along with steel I-beam supports.

“Its old I-beams are probably hundreds and hundreds of pounds per foot,” nearby resident Robert Obed told CNN affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. “It’s an old railroad bridge.”

Covert's Crossing is in a remote wooded area of the rural township, which is home to 4,000 people about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. The bridge had been around since the early 1900s and was owned by New Castle Development, who told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the company had recently closed off public access to the crossing because of reports of copper theft in the area. Company spokesman Gary Bruce said that bridge was primarily used by a nearby business to transport materials, but there is an alternative route that is still accessible.

Bridge theft, while certainly rare, is not unheard of. In 2008, a group of Russian thieves managed to dismantle and haul off a 200-ton, 38-foot steel bridge in just one night, according to a report from Britain's Daily Mail.

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Filed under: Crime • Pennsylvania
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. metalhead

    how much steel could a steel thief steal if a steel theif could steal steel?

    October 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ~(_8(/) Doh!

      As much steel, a steel thief could steal, in the still of blue steel night. (/)8_)~

      October 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • LMK12

      That is awesome! LOL. Only in PA would they steal a bridge.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobbyBrick


      October 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony Baloney

      Best post EVER!!!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Hahaha!! Lol!! Excellent!!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |


    October 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • RD

      You're so stupid! Some people would rather steal than work. Liberals like you have *&^%ed up what used to be the good ole' USA. Your process of deduction is as ignorant as you are.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arnold.nb

      They are thieves. Bottom line. They should be caught and punished. Work at McDonalds, dig a trench, sweep a floor, etc...

      October 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • sbp1

      Uh, they are CROOKS, dimwit. Anyone with that kind of equipment and know how is perfectly capable of having a legitimate job. No way "the econommy made them do it." They CHOSE to steal, instead. Since you don't think theft is a big deal, give them your address, let them steal all of your stuff.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stella

      I hope they steal from you next time, that's what you deserve. Your assumption that an honest person will steal just because they need something is erroneous and just goes to show the kind of person you are. Now we know that you're a criminal waiting to happen.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • phil mccracken

      You're both idiots.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • phil mccracken

      the 1st 2 people i mean.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • John in NY

      I guess it's safe to assume that your view would change if someone stole all the copper out of your house.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Torch Jockey

      My guess is a scrap crew working for a company used their keys and such to use company equipment (with or without the owner's knowledge) to steal it. A good crew could take down a bridge like that in a few hours, especially if they had a yard to move the pieces to for processing.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      All the more reason to send these illegal aliens packing. That's about 12 million stolen jobs that you have been fed propaganda that no one wanted. Who did these very same jobs before millions of illegals came and stole them by offering to work under the table for less than the jobs were worth? We did!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlos mendez

      Whether lazy or hard worker is not an excuse to steal. Taking property that doesn't belong to you is a thieve and need to brought to justice. Anyone who steal should be punish for the crime they have committed. No one has the right to steal another party property. Stealing is a crime and they know that. I hope that whomever they sell the steel will report it to the Authority as soon as possible.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arnold.nb

      phil mccracken

      I am glad you have resorted to name-calling. I would rather be an honest "idiot" then a thief. There is a reason that thieves are near the lowest of the food-chain in prison.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. volksmaniac

    Those damned Republicans . Now I have to find somewhere else to rest my left-wingnut liberal azz ! Trolls get no respect any more .

    October 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      Good one!

      October 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Why aren't the metal recyclers who accept all this obviously stolen metal from methheads allowed to remain free in society?

    October 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • saopaco

      Apparently they are?

      October 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      They are starting to make a law in CA about having paperwork to prove it's not stolen. It's a huge problem here, especially in the Central Valley, nothing is sacred, they are even stealing metal, especialy copper, from churches and schools. That's not "people out of work" that's sociopathic criminals!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Torch Jockey

      Pros did this, not druggies.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe blowsky

      a number of states have scrap metal registries. tennessee does. i was reading that mass. is considering it. and as for people presuming to know who these thieves are and in what way their political opinions point, you are dumb.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      you seriously think a methhead could dismantle a bridge? Brilliant

      October 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |

    Sarah Palin did it.......it's the "mystical" bridge to nowhere!

    October 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fred ca

    I think I saw obama,reid and pelosi in that area wearing hard-hats. I think they were trying to set-up a 'shovel ready' opportunity.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony Baloney

      Not likely...they are not that smart.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CR from CA

    Not that is justifies stealing the steel, but how much use does a bridge get if it took them 8 days to cut it apart and no one noticed.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Torch Jockey

      Just because they don't know when it happened in the 8 days doesn't mean it took 8 days. A good crew can take a bridge like that in hours if they don't have to worry about safety inspectors and all that sort of thing.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LZ

    Where's that confounded bridge (sorry, couldn't help myself)?

    October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • snooper27


      October 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobbyBrick

      Not sure everyone is old enough to catch that reference LZ, but I certainly appreciate it.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZepLedHead

      Great out of the blue reply. I always wondered where it was too. Maybe its at Plant's place in England...

      October 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. snooper27

    II you read "comments" you will begin to notice one descriptive that is showing up more and more often and that is "Stupid." And the users seem to be able to apply it to each and every one of the 73 different political fields of thought. I worry that there might be a lesson to be learned here.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Doodski

    Let's swap corrugated steel for expanded steel. No bridge is made of corrugated unless its the roof or walls 🙂

    October 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arnold.nb

      Corrugated Steel is used in a bridge construction. Typically it is used as a decking to span and support a surface material (asphalt, wood, concrete, etc)

      October 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig S

    Perhaps they are building a landing strip in North Beaver

    October 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cateyes7

    Luv those Pittsburgh Stealers (pun)!!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burbank

      LOL! Groan! But a good groan! – Score!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    This is one of the oddest stories I have read in a looooooong time!

    Don't worry about them...they'll probably show up *here*!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Burbank

    It's not really stolen, it just went invisible.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roddy

    I'm sure that won't be hard to spot at the smelter..

    October 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Torch Jockey

      Harder than you think. This was probably done by pros and they'll sneak it bit by bit into loads of scrap.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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