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. Why?

    Why did they have to point out the Russians did it better?

    October 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      SIlly Westeners. In Soviet Russia, bridge dismantle you! Ha HA!.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teresa

      Good call..... lol so true, our thieves are stupid.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Craig S: LMAO! Naughty, naughty!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig S

      I understand the theft was witnessed by a man in a boat.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kenny

    Those dammed Republicans. They dismantled the bridge to keep Democrats from finding it and adding it to their list of structually difficient bridges.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Citizen

      And the Democraps have our San Diego Bridge Made In China. I'm sure that provided us with a lot of Jobs.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sir Spells-a-lot

      You spelled "dammed" incorrectly. Your comment is rendered void.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Perkpi

    Damn, time to break out my blow torch

    October 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. driranek

    Naw, the ruskis mighta done it first, but the good ol' USA thieves made off with a 50 foot bridge while those ex-commie russians only managed to swipe a 38 foot bridge. We are #1!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Judging by your idiotic remark, you've obviously never been there and rely on yet again outdated slogans; I was there for about 3 years, few identify themselves as communists anymore – but man do they ever understand profit. You are in dire need of a reality upgrade 😉

      October 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Hey Mark, he said ex commies.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Darth Vader

    "Impressive." – Darth Vader

    October 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Moxie Man

    I'm sure the local scrap yards won't "notice" anything unusual when the bridge parts are cashed in.

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

      It was probably a scrap yard that did it. They'll use it bit by bit to bulk out loads going to the foundry. This is the work of pros, not some guy with a torch and a pickup truck.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I agree with Torch, this was not the job of an amateur on a sudden weekend binge.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gaadffly

      Russian scrap metal thieves, Boris and Natasha strike again !!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      Sounds like the work of some *cough* disgruntled ex-Bethlehem Steel employees *cough*.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. marsmotel

    That is great! I love this country! I am sure glad I make good money!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. martinmunson

    The ecomomy is forcing people to take everything that isn't nailed down, and Geithner told wickedimproper . com that he was considering pawning some off his old gold.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Saboth

    Palin just wanted to finish the Bridge to Nowhere.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      You mean the airport landing strip to nowhere?

      October 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |


    October 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HenkV

    Of course, since these guys have their own smelter, they can just sell their clump of steel anywhere. In the unlikely event that they do NOT own one, I am sure they won't be able to find a scrap dealer, because no scrap dealer would take anything from a bunch of strangers that looks like parts of an old bridge. Time for me to wake up from my dream?

    October 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Food for Thought

    A new way to clean up America. State Governments should post a list of unused or abandoned buildings, bridges, railways etc and let "thieves" dismantle it to recycle al the material .....

    October 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Spaceman

    sold on e bay for $1000 dolla

    October 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      So you bought it?

      October 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gaadffly

    Actually they bought it when they were in Brooklyn.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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