Ohio Man Hired A Crane Service To Help Him Steal An Entire Bridge

Why steal a catalytic converter when there are whole bridges for the taking?

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Photo: Akron Police Department

It looks like Florida Man has been getting some stiff competition from the states up north. We’ve already seen what Michigan Man can do, now Ohio has a doozy of a story caused by one of its residents. Akron authorities have been asking for help finding someone who managed to make a whole pedestrian bridge disappear. They’ve found him and figured out how he did it.

Akron police have investigated all kinds of stolen property, ABC 6 reports, but this is the first time that anyone can remember, where they were tasked with finding out who took an entire pedestrian bridge.

The bridge is a 58-foot span along the Little Cuyahoga River in Middlebury Run Park. It was removed from its place in the park and placed in a field while local wetlands were restored. The city planned on reusing the $40,000 pedestrian bridge.

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And even though we’re only hearing about it now, the bridge was actually stolen nearly two months ago.

Police say that the theft happened in stages. Brush around the bridge was removed on November 3, followed by the span’s deck boards. Finally, the rest of the bridge itself went missing on November 11. That’s absurd enough, but it gets even more silly. The bridge has so little value that authorities figure it had to be stolen either because the thief wanted a bridge or for parts, presumably to fix another bridge.

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Police called out to the community for tips. According to the Washington Post, on Friday, those tips led them to them to a property in nearby Medina County where they found the bridge partially taken apart. A 63-year-old man of Sharon Township has been charged with felony theft for taking the bridge.

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How did he do it? According to police, he hired a trucking company to do the dirty work:

“Detectives discovered that Bramley … paid a local trucking company for a crane service,” police said. “The crane was later used to place the bridge on and off a vehicle that transported it to the Medina County property.”

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Weirdly, this isn’t even the first time that someone has stolen an entire bridge. One infamous bridge theft happened in 2011, when two brothers in Pennsylvania lifted a 50-foot steel bridge from an industrial park’s service road. The bridge was valued at $100,000 and scrapped by the brothers for $5,000.

This bridge will be returned to Akron, where hopefully it still has a chance at fulfilling its new role for a project at a women’s shelter. At this time it’s still not known why the man stole the bridge, or how he got a trucking company to do it.

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