Thieves in the Night Stole an Entire Bridge in Ohio

by Clayton Edwards

Some people will steal just about anything that isn’t nailed down. We hear about it every day. Some thieves will go for valuable items like Amazon packages on doorsteps. Others might go right for money or other valuables. Some thieves, though, aren’t in it for profit. They’ll grab whatever they can just for the thrill of it. In Akron, Ohio, thieves stole an entire bridge.

No, this isn’t one of those stories where it ends up that they stole a tiny bridge that wouldn’t be big enough to go over a puddle during a drought. These industrious thieves walked away with a 10-foot wide, 6-foot tall, 58-foot long footbridge. According to News 5 Cleveland, the bridge started at Akron’s Middlebury Run Park. In the early 2000s, the city removed the bridge as part of a creek and wetland restoration project. They stored the bridge in a nearby field, thinking it would be safe there. After all, who is going to walk off with a whole bridge?

They still don’t know the answer to that question. All they know is that last month, someone stole the entire bridge in one night. When the sun went down, most of the bridge was sitting in the field where it had been for years. The next day, it was nowhere to be seen.

Before thieves finally stole the entire bridge, they took bits and pieces. Last month, officials noticed that some of the treated deck boards on the bridge were gone. This hampered plans to use the bridge for an upcoming project. However, they still had most of the structure. With a little repair work, it would be good as new. About a week later, that changed.

Akron Police Stumped After Someone Stole a Whole Bridge

Akron Police Lieutenant Michael Miller said they have no idea who stole the bridge. However, that’s only the tip of the mysterious iceberg. They are still scratching their heads wondering how and why someone decided to take the bridge. In his 22 years of service with the APD, Miller says he’s never seen anything that compares to this heist. “We know it will be met with mystery and questions: who and how and why? All of those are unanswered. It ranks high on the list of mysteries, that’s for sure.”

Miller went on to say that the “how” isn’t that complicated. The bridge was made of a polymer material and held together with bolts. “If you have any equipment, sockets, and things of that nature, it wouldn’t have been very difficult at all to begin the process of disassembling that.” Miller described the bridge as “a big LEGO-like device.”

The thieves that stole the bridge might be disappointed if they try to scrap or recycle it for money. Akron’s city engineering department stated that, while the bridge is worth about $40k to the city, the polymer material is “largely worthless to a scrapper or recycler.”

Akron Police hope someone will come forward with information about the person or group who stole the bridge.