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A Bridge Abridged: Thieves Swipe Span

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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Extreme scrap metal collecting has worked its way from Pennsylvania to Turkey, where thieves have made off with a 22-ton bridge—the second known heist of its kind.

Villagers in the Gölçük district of Kocaeli province in western Turkey headed to their orchards one recent morning to find their local bridge missing.

The 82-foot-long bridge, over a creek, had been cut into pieces and trucked away for scrap, police suspect.

GolcukBridge GolcukBridge
Today's Zaman; www.golcuk.bel.tr

Villagers in Gölçük stand at the site where their old town bridge long stood. The 85-foot structure connected the town with its orchards.

The estimated scrap value of the bridge is $11,000, according to the Turkish daily, Today's Zaman. To the 140,000 or so locals, however, it is worth far more, providing vital access to their orchards. A Green Apple Festival is a town tradition, according to the town's website.

Local resident Mustafa Karakas told the Ihlas news agency that the theft was unbelievable.

“Now we have to take our socks off and cross the creek,” Karakas said.

Earlier Heist

The bridge is not the first to be stolen in its entirety, but it appears to be the largest.

In the fall of 2011, two brothers in Pennsylvania, in the United States, allegedly stole a 55-foot-long steel bridge, cutting apart the structure with a blow torch and trying to peddle it for scrap in the western part of the state.

The Pennsylvania bridge reportedly lifted by Benjamin Arthur Jones, 24, and Alexander William Jones, 25, netted the brothers $5,179 (about 16.5 cents per pound) cash before authorities caught up with them.

PAStolenBridge

In Pennsylvania, a 50-foot-long bridge on private property was chopped up and trucked off for scrap in 2011. Two brothers were caught trying to sell off pieces.

The century-old bridge, located in a privately owned industrial park, would cost about $100,000 to replace, authorities said.

The brothers each faced several charges in the case. Their current status was not available Monday (March 25).

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Laws and litigation; Metals; Recycled building materials; Steel

Comment from shane hirvi, (3/27/2013, 5:32 AM)

We did it first Turkey--don't get cocky...


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