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. vatoloke

    These guys took the "hey I gotta bridge to sell you real cheap..." joke quite seriously.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Keksi

    This give new meaning to phrase "I have a bridge to sell you...literally".

    October 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    Give 'em a job working for PENNDOT...they're obviously quicker,cheaper, and more resourceful (lol).

    October 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      You got that right! Hell road construction takes what.....5 years to complete?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rami

      Scott, now that is smart. I like it, Would you run for state Governor. I know.. you are too smart for that. lol

      October 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PHinMiami

    Shouldn't be hard to track down. Recycling plants have name & address for the scrap, or should have.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rami

      Ya, sure. and their SSN and Driv. lic nbr too. Hello, this mother ship... anyone there?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HabTheory

    How Pennsylvania is handling their lack of jobs without going broke.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Justme

    Lightenup John. Keksi was making a joke, geeze!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Limeygirl

    Took the bridge, left the troubled water. Sounds like a brilliant strategy!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. knowlecater

    damn ninjas, get off my green

    October 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. terry

    My grandfather told me of men "stealing coal" during the depression. Thy dug mines on land they did not own and had no rights to the coal but it was dig coal or families would starve.
    Looks like we coul be heading back the same path again.
    I do not support thievery, but I would like to know why they took it. Taking a bridge is not easy work so I would expect these guys needed money badly for whatever reason.
    How long can a scrap bridge support a family of 4?

    October 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bezerkur

    well hank has to do something now. it was a joint adventure with imus.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Terry

    There is so much stealing going on these days, it's pathetic. What is wrong with you people? Everything you steal will weigh down your conscience forever afterward, until you pay it back.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick from L.A.

      I took a paperclip from the office today, will I go to H.E. double hockey sticks?

      October 7, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      And how much $$$ did you get for that scrap metal in that paperclip? LOL

      October 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rami

    Remember now, this is the greatest country ? B.S.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hunter29

    Now it's time for these entrepreneurs to head for the Kennedy Space Center

    October 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rick from L.A.

    No, No, you are supposed to build bridges not take them.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cateyes7

      At least they didn't burn it.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. edward c. stengel

    I thought I'd heard of everything, but stealing a bridge?

    October 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
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