How does this happen? A 50-foot long, 20-foot wide steel bridge is missing from North Beaver Township, Pennsylvania. Seriously. Police are saying the crime must have been committed over the course of months. Yes, months. For MONTHS, people have been removing large pieces of steel, each weighing hundreds of pounds, from a bridge, with no one noticing.
It gets better - the police say the bridge went missing sometime between September 27th and October 5th. Yes, that is a 9 day window for a massive bridge to have vanished and for no one to have really noticed. We think the 50 ton bridge disappeared Wednesday, but it could have been Sunday... we're really not sure...
Seriously, how did this happen and why did they want to steal a bridge? Well, the why is easy - the scrap metal would have been worth somewhere in the $100,000 range. That is certainly worth a month of work, I suppose. How did they transport all of that steel and who is taking it in in trade? The how turns out to be a little easier to figure out than you would think, however. It turns out it is an old rail bridge buried in the woods, but still.
The real questions here are, are they done? Will they steal another bridge somewhere else? Are we living in a John Wayne movie? I think the only way to know is to wait and find out. A modest proposal: if you own a bridge, keep an eye on it. Someone might be trying to steal it.