Ohio Police Track Down Missing Bridge and Its Alleged Thief

by Clayton Edwards

Last week, we brought you the story of a missing bridge in Akron, Ohio. According to reports, someone stole an entire footbridge that was being stored in an open field attached to a park. Now, police have tracked down the structure and made an arrest in connection to its alleged theft.

Now, we’re not experts on thievery and we definitely don’t know much about stealing entire bridges. However, it seems like something that big would be hard to conceal. After all, we’re talking about a 10-foot wide, 6-foot tall, 58-foot long bridge that just went missing from an Akron park. You can’t just put that in your closet and claim it’s a family heirloom. One Ohio resident allegedly found that out the hard way.

Akron Police Track Down Missing Bridge

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, officers with the Akron PD tracked down the missing bridge. Not long after the story broke, tips started coming in. After following up on those tips, Akron PD was able to locate the bridge in the next county over. They served a search warrant for the property of David Bramley, a 63-year-old Wadsworth, Ohio resident.

APD arrested Bramley for possession of the missing bridge and he will be arraigned in Akron Municipal Court on Thursday, December 23rd. Currently, the alleged bridge thief is facing a charge of felony theft. According to an Ohio-based law firm, that charge will carry up to 18 months in prison and up to $5k in fines.  

Before the bridge went missing, Akron city officials had plans for it. They took the bridge down in 2003 as part of a creek and wetland preservation project. In the future, the bridge would become part of a battered women’s shelter. After finding the footbridge, there’s a good chance that the city will move forward with its original plan. They’ll be moving the structure back to its rightful place over the next few days. There is no word on if APD will provide extra security to make sure the 58-foot long structure will stay where it belongs.

How Do You Steal a Whole Bridge?

I’m sure you’re wondering how someone steals an entire bridge. We definitely were. According to the Beacon Journal report, it wasn’t complicated. It just took some serious guts.

Detectives with the Akron PD said that Bramley hired a local trucking company to move the bridge for him. He paid them for crane services and had the bridge hauled to his home in neighboring Medina County. It seems baffling, but when you think about it, it makes sense. The trucking company probably assumed that Bramley was authorized to move the bridge. After all, who would be crazy enough to hire a trucking company to steal something like that?