Scrap metal thieves steal entire 50-foot bridge in Pennsylvania

Construction material and indoor plumbing are common targets for scrap metal thieves who re-sell copper and steel for quick cash. But a group of scrappers in PA dared to think big: they're blamed for stealing an entire 50-foot steel bridge. More at WFMJ news. (via Ethan Zuckerman)


  1. Best part of the story, they didn’t have a buyer lined up, they just approached a random scrap metal buyer.

  2. Bridges already, steel?  Seems like just a few years ago it was copper wiring and tubing.

    Things got so bad in Mexico that kilometers of high voltage cable were being yanked and stolen in rural areas in the dead of the night, yet leaving the wooden poles intact, and to do it that neatly you need special equipment, the kind that only the utility company has, looks like a band of employees “borrowing” mobile units overnight.

    Another face of it is junkies desperate for a fix, while at home one night I heard a loud hiss in the backyard, upon inspecting and to my utter horror and panic, somebody had cut the copper tubing from the stationary gas tank, without bothering to shut off the valve!  The tank had been filled two days before, so that the whole neighborhood stank of gas for hours.  One match, spark or cigarette… another potentially lethal “what if” scenario is that if I had shown my face a minute earlier, I’d have come face to face with the culprit.

    This is the sort of thing that happens when China cuts the ribbon on a new skyscraper or bridge every month or so, the price of construction materials worldwide shoots into the stratosphere, common metals become scarce and profitable in even small amounts.

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